Koetter's Press Conf. Notes

The ASU head coach discusses the loss to Washington and offers his thoughts on the upcoming game against Oregon.

As usual Koetter started by thanking the fans: "The crowd was excellent. I know they announced a crowd of 50,000, but they sounded like 70,000. Hopefully one day we'll have 70,000 fans in the stands." On the game he said that: We competed hard. But when you spot a top-20 team, you can't expect to win. There were about ten plays in the game that if they go are way we would win the game. Those were the two two-point conversions, missed field goal, turnovers on offense, failing to score points following the interception, and their quarterback running for two crucial three downs at the end of the game."

Koetter gave game balls on the scout team to Matt Miller on offense, Daniel Boyers on defense, and Hakim Hill on special teams. After a loss, the coaches don't give game balls but recognize players. Those players were Levi Jones on offense, Jason Shivers (18 tackles) on defense, and Adrian Thomas on special teams. Kyle Koiser will be the fourth captain for the Oregon game.

In previewing the Oregon game, the ASU coach said that it would be unique from many perspectives: "first, it our only turf game this season. They actually have the new field turf. We're not going to prepare by practicing on our artificial turf because it's different. Plus, it limits us because it's only one field. We plan to practice on their turf on Friday. It will also be the first time that weather may play a factor for us. The forecast calls for a chance of rain and temperatures in the low 40's. We're going to face the loudest crowd we ever have this year. Their crowd is a big part of the game. Playing at Auzten stadium is probably the toughest stadium to play at. If you factor all these things in, plus the fact we're playing a great team. You can see what a big challenge we have. But we're going to get ready for it, and we we're excited for it.

On the team's first half struggles: "There's a lot of different factors. We do start out poorly, and we have to get better on that."

On ASU's defense: "I know the fans get nervous about our style, but there's nothing wrong with it. We have a good scheme, and we have good players. Guess what scheme Oregon plays? The same one we do. We're not playing perfect. Our players have to get better, and we have to create more turnovers. The reasons why we don't play are sometimes the same game to game (not creating turnovers) and sometimes they vary by game (missing crucial tackles on Pickett). I refuse to point fingers at players. The buck stops here, and I'll take it (the defense's performance) on my shoulders."

On two controversial calls the refs made: "On the off-sides call when Washington lined up for the field goal, the players swore to me that the center moved the ball, and that the right guard jumped. If it wasn't for that penalty, we may have time to score a field goal and win." On the play where a Washington player downed a punt on the one-yard line: "the rule says that if the ball doesn't cross the plane, it's not a touchback. This was a good call."

On Oregon's defense: "They have great corners. Their defensive coordinator will always stack the box against the run. Stanford beat them mixing it up on offense. We have to be balanced (with runs and passes), but also play to our strength. Washington played the run much better than I thought, but didn't play the pass as well as I thought. I don't have a crystal ball, I can only go with what I see."

On Krohn's health: "No one is 100% this time of year, and so is Jeff. He's tough, and he competed hard. He played well aside from his turnovers. The only thing that limited us with Krohn's health was playing the option. That's why we tried it with Tom Pace and it didn't work out."

On Terrell Suggs being frustrated about being double-teamed: "Like any competitor out there he's frustrated. Last year he played on the opposite side of the tight end and this year we're moving him around. So, he's sees tight ends and backs lining up on him. He's numbers are still outstanding, and he's only been playing this position two years. He does have to get stronger if he wants to play at the NFL level."

On Oregon's quarterback Joey Harrington: "He's a stud. I have nothing but positive things to say about him. He's a great passer and a great leader. Now that their running game has had unexpected success, that makes their offense that much more potent."

On Oregon's coach Mike Belotti and the success Oregon had had in recent years: "He has had a big influence on me. I learned a lot from him, and he taught me a lot of new offensive systems that I've never seen before. We do some of the things they do on offense. I will always be in debt to him rescuing me from the east coast (Boston College) and bringing me back to the west coast (Oregon). The school has upgraded its facilities, which are bringing a lot of good recruits. The whole northwest is stealing recruits from southern California. They also get great fan support."

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