Jones Knows Effort Will Eventually Produce Wins

An old football cliché says that football is a game of inches. Along those lines, one or two bad plays are all that is needed to determine the outcome of a game. In this exclusive DevilsDigest interview, defensive tackle Shane Jones believes that a few unfortunate plays is all that separates ASU from having a successful season.

Last week against UCLA, the senior recorded a season high six total tackles, including two for a loss. "I feel like I went out there and gave all my effort," exclaimed Jones. "And fixed some things that I needed to do. I've been playing high, and I needed to work on the double teams staying low and staying in the gaps. I felt I did that well, and executed most of the plays."

The senior ranks eighth on the team tackles' list with 27, which is on pace to eclipse his 44 stops he amassed in 2002. His play thus far in 2003 has earned him game captain honors for a second time. The defensive tackle knows that it's common for JC transfers, such as himself, to be significantly better in their second year of play. "I can definitely see a difference," he said. "I fixed a lot of things from the time I was a freshman until my senior year. I think I'm having my best year right now."

Aside from his fine play, this year has been rewarding for Shane Jones due to the play of former JC teammate, and current defensive line mate, Ishmael Thrower. Jones said that when two close friends play well, the mutual effects are that much more positive. "I'm very happy for him," Jones stated. "We live together, and when we both play well we kinda feed off each other. We came from the same JC, and when your buddy does well it definitely drives you to be good. I'm glad he got over the hump of being hurt, and now he's making plays."

The Sun Devil run defense has been under heavy scrutiny, due to the fact that they are giving up 173 yards a game in the last six weeks. However, Jones feels that it's not due to lack of effort. "I think what it is that sometimes the blitz call just didn't go right with the way they're (the opponent) running. We blitz in – they run out…our effort is great. Everybody is doing the right thing. We're gonna get it right."

Jones said that his teammates haven't been bogged down by the frustrating statistics and unkind stats. "The deal is that we know we played a good game last weekend," claimed the senior. "All those teams that we have lost to, we know we should have won. It's just a couple plays here, a couple plays there. If we keep on doing what we're suppose to do, something will happen and we'll get those W's that we need."

Last year versus Cal, the defensive tackle had a career high ten total tackles. Nevertheless, he's more motivated to play the Bears this weekend due to the possibility of payback. "There was a sour taste when we lost to Cal last year," Jones said. "It was a lot like North Carolina. It was one of the games, where we should have won and we didn't. But we're gonna play well, execute our plays, and get them this year." And leading the effort, like he has been doing all season long, will be Shane Jones.

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