Richardson Shows Unselfishness

Lost in the 63 points and the gaudy offensive statistics in ASU's victory over Temple, was prehaps the fact that Terry Richardson, the team's starting wide receiver, finished the game without a catch. The junior however doesn't dwell over that fact because he does put the good of the team ahead of his personal success.

"It was weird," said the 6-1 186 Terry Richardson about his catch-less night. "But Sam (Keller) did try to get it to me, and their DB's did a good job. I'm not complaining because as long as we get the ‘W', I don't care if one ball doesn't get thrown my way. Sam didn't forget that I'm out there (Laughs)."

On the other hand, Richardson had a solid performance as a punt returner. His five returns went for a total of 58 yards. One of those returns was a 45-yarder which tied his career high. Nevertheless, the junior is definitely not resting on his laurels when it comes to his special teams performance. "It was all right, but it was a good game for improvement," he commented. "We got to see how we look live in a game, and now we get to iron out the wrinkles. Our intensity is good, but we can clean it up more."

Playing as a starter on offense, and a return guy on special teams, can create a potential overextension of one's duties. Then again, if one has the attitude that Richardson possesses, the extra number of snaps becomes a non-issue. "Whether I'm on offense or returning kicks I give it my all," he remarked. "Even if I'm breathing out of my eyes I'm gonna run as hard as I can. Even if it's hard that's my role on the team and I'm gonna be out there for them."

Speaking of playing hard, it was very easy for the maroon and gold to get excited for their much anticipated match-up with LSU, and this was before the game transferred venues. Richardson readily admitted that the change in location, to Sun Devil stadium, did put an extra bounce in the collective team's step. "We were really excited just to play LSU and going down there to Louisiana," he said. "Then the tragedy happened, and they're coming here. It's exciting to play them here and also raise money for the folks down there. It's a game that you know you'll always remember."

It's always a great challenge to play a top-10 team, since you're about to encounter a high caliber of players that you will rarely see later in the season. To add to this feat, the off-season changes in the Tigers' coaching staff, do add a considerable wrinkle to game preparation. "It's more of a challenge for the offense," Richardson stated. "Our defense did get to watch their personnel, how they move, and the skill level of their position players. But when we watch their defense, we're just watching personnel, not the defense and their coverages. We have to watch tapes of Nebraska and their coverages. It's kinda confusing, but we've done this before and we can handle it."

A highly charged game such as this is bound to create much emotion among the players participating in the contest. The wide receiver does acknowledge that cooler heads must prevail in order to succeed. "It's one of those games where you can be a little too excited, too jumpy," he admitted. "But when the time comes and you step between the lines and the whistle blows we have to keep our composure. We have to be smart, be calm, and get excited when it's time to get excited."

Between his freshman and sophomore year, Richardson nearly tripled both his number of catches and yards receiving. In the touchdown department the change was more dramatic, since he went from no touchdowns in 2003 to six scores in 2004. His goals for his junior year are quite simple. "Every time I go out there, I don't look at myself as the ‘number two' threat," he said. "We have a lot of weapons out here, so I better do something. Every time I touch the ball, I'm gonna try to and take it to the house. That's my mindset every game every time."

And one can expect his number of catches to also dramatically grow from the Temple game to the LSU game this weekend.

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