Q&A With Dirk Koetter, Andrew Carnahan

The following is a question and answer session with the Sun Devils head coach and their senior offensive tackle that took place during the Pac-10's media day.

Dirk Koetter

Q: What's been your impression of the Sun Devil billboards around town?

A: "You're speaking of the Sun Devil Laws - It's exciting. Our goal is to win the Pac-10 and compete for a national title. Other than USC, nobody's been able to do it."

Q: What one thing in this offense are you looking forward too?

A: "Our depth at tailback. We're going to be a better running team than people think. Rudy Burgess will play some WR. We're so deep with Keegan, Shaun Dewitty, and JUCO Transfer Ryan Torain. We have a freshman in Rodney Glass, who was one of the fastest players in California last year, and Dmitri Nance, who was the 5A player of the year in Texas."

Q: Two years ago it was tailbacks, last year it was your offensive line...what is it that's getting different units so devastated by injuries?

A: "You can't predict injuries, it's going to come back and help us since we return seven guys with experience on the O-Line. We just do what we have to do to prevent injuries, and try to prevent freak accidents."

Q: Is there any reason not to believe this year's offense won't be as good as last year's?

A: "Replacing Derek Hagan is tough; people forget he had three straight 1000-yard seasons for us. Not to mention Moey Mutz and Matt Miller, those guys sure showed up a lot in tape. But we have some young guys in Brandon Smith and others who will step up at WR, but we are certainly not proven."

Q: One guy who is proven is Zach Miller

A: "Yes he is, He is the healthiest he has ever been in his career, he has great hands, but most importantly, he is a great blocker, we like to run behind him. He's a preseason All-American. But one player who may push him for some playing time is his brother Brent."

Q: For ASU to succeed, it has to be the defense, what's going to make the defense improved?

A: "To get where we want to get, our D is going to have to play well. We got four starters coming back, and some transfer help on the way in guys from Northwestern, BYU and Florida. We got some older mature guys and we gotta get that unit to gel. I think it will."

Q: Coming off two consecutive bowl wins, momentum is on ASU's side, do you think how close you were to such a magical season in losing two heart breakers along the way?

A: "Those two heart breakers you refer to were LSU and USC, then we hit a mid-season drag, but we did finish strong, with Rudy Carpenter coming in. It (the losses) allowed us to build in the off season and it serves as motivation. Those loses left a bitter taste, we need that big win to get over the hump."

Q: Speaking of big wins, still no victories in conference play in California. Why is that?

A: "We got a lot of chances this year, I asked the players why we haven't been able to do it, and they said we have maturity now. I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this is the year we get it done. "

Q: Any place you want to predict it to happen?

A: "All of them! "

Q: Last thing, the QB'S Rudy vs. Sam

A: "If Rudy is playing better than Sam, he will be our QB. Anyone coming off injury will come back as the number one in the position, until it's clear that he is not the number one. If Rudy clearly outplays Sam, he's the starter."

Andrew Carnahan

Q: Andrew, A lot of expectations for this team. What are you guys hoping to live up too?

A: "We're going to go out there and do everything we can do to play hard the whole 60 minutes of the game. Never give up on anything we do."

Q: Your position seemed to go through so much turnover last year. Will that help for this year?

A: "We got everybody back. Everybody is healthy. We have a lot of veterans and that should help us out."

Q: Who's going to be QB?

A: "I still don't know. We'll figure that out in camp."

Q: Which QB do you prefer to block for? A: "Their styles are very different. You know you got one guy who is a real fiery, and one guy that's real quiet. One that's more of a pocket passer and one that moves around a little bit. They are both real different, but still effective."

Q: When people think ASU football, they think about the passing game. But you guys should be able to run the ball this year…

A: "We have a solid core of RB's coming back and some new guys to help step things up a bit this year."

Q: What will it take to keep up the offensive pace from last year?

A: "We need our guys to step up at each position; we need our young WR's to fill in those positions. As far as that we have most of our offensive backs, we really didn't lose any running backs, only two offensive linemen. We have some guys to fill in for them so it's just a matter of getting it done."

Q: You guys have a tough early season schedule, does it make it better that you guys have so much experience?

A: "It helps being experienced... We got some tough games ahead. Once you are thrown in tough games you don't really get a chance to warm up."

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