Koetter Embarrassed by Oregon Loss

Calling it the second worst loss of his coaching career, ASU's head coach apologized for the performance of his squad in the 48-13 loss to Oregon at home.

"We were horrible," said Koetter in his post-game press conference. "You guys all saw it. We were bad, embarrassing…pick your word. Where we stand going into the bye week is a team that needs to get a lot better. When it's all aspects of the team (not performing), people are gonna look at the coach. I totally understand. That's the world we live in. When you play the way we played today…I apologize to our fans. We should be paying them to sit through that."

The Sun Devil skipper noted that the team's practices in the last couple of weeks weren't good, and offered his thoughts on the matter. "I don't think how we're going about practice is the issue," remarked Koetter. "I think how we're executing in practice is the issue. I'm from the school that when you're not practicing well. You should practice more…practice until you get it right."

Koetter ruled out any possible wholesale changes to the team, because "I don't think you can re-work your system at this point of the season. It's out of the question. You have to make it work with the guys you got." He added that a season shouldn't be judged by one game, but admitted that "There's no question that we didn't make any progress today."

Rudy Carpenter had an abysmal day to say the least, completing six passes for 33 yards. "He's definitely struggling," Koetter said of his signal caller. "He's not trusting himself. We're running the same plays he ran great last year. Any player that lacks confidence in any position, they don't play the way they're capable of playing because they don't go with the flow, go with their reads…they have a tendency to over think. Rudy is just trying to make up stuff that's just not there. When he does have something there, we don't protect him, and that's just one of the problems."

Koetter added that Rudy addressed the team in the locker room, following Koetter's post-game speech there, and mentioned that Carpenter was speaking from his heart. "I think Rudy has the respect of our team," he stated. "They know Rudy is a tough guy. He didn't play very well today, but he's a stand-up guy."

Offensive guard Stephen Berg filled in at right tackle for the injured Andrew Carnahan and Koetter offered his assessment of the senior's play." I thought Steve; in his first start at right tackle did an adequate job in the running game," noted Koetter. "Obviously pass setting in space, with nobody else outside with you is different as a tackle, than it is as a guard. They got Steve on a couple of things today, but Steve Berg is a warrior and one of the best leaders on the team. He's a guy that's gonna compete and give you everything he can. Injuries are a part of it and we can't make an excuse for that. Steve did the best he could."

At this point of the season for the Sun Devils, one thing that is likely to be re-assessed are the team's goals. "We have several goals spread out through the season, "said Koetter. "There are still some of those that are attainable, some that are not. I think you constantly have to evaluate your goals. Completing a pass might be a good goal for us next week."

Koetter mentioned that at this juncture of the season, the team cam draw on the experiences of the 2005 campaign, where following a three-game skid the team won four of its last five games. Overall, the ASU head coach was hopeful for better days to come this season. "I'm a competitive person," he said. "When you're a football coach, you put your heart and soul into it, and when you play like this - it hurts. It's embarrassing. We had a great crowd out there and we thank those people for supporting us. We didn't give them many things to cheer about today. That's not fun, but they'll be other days."

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