"I was waiting for that all game," said Keno Walter-White of his second half interception. "It was a smoke route that they ran a lot. I think the quarterback and Dwayne Garrett had some confusion because I was playing off of him, and I came up and switched the coverage and (USC QB) Booty just threw it. I took it to the house and that's a play you always dream about, playing one of the top teams in the nation. I thought that it was the spark that would start the fire, but we came up on the short side."
The corner's interception tied up the game at 21 apiece, and was the crescendo of the team's comeback from a 21-0 deficit. Even though the Sun Devils ultimately fell 28-21 to USC, there were a lot of positives to take away from the game that may still turn around the 2006 campaign for ASU.
"This was the rebirth of the team," Walter-White commented. "Playing physical like we did against one of the best teams in the country will give you momentum. We know we could have won that game and that gives you confidence for the game against Stanford."
With no disrespect to the Sun Devils' next opponent, the winless Cardinal will be a welcomed reprieve from the brutal start of Pac-10 schedule, which pitted the maroon and gold against the top three teams in the conference. Walter-White claims that he and his teammates won't pay attention to Stanford's record and struggles this season. "They're still a Pac-10 team," he noted. "They have scholarship players just like we do. We did play against the powerhouses and unfortunately came on the short end. Against Stanford we're looking to make a point and prove a point to establish ourselves."
The loss to Cal is one that Walter-White, as well as a lot of other ASU players, would love to forget because of their performance that day. Thus, does his play last week, let alone his inaugural interception and touchdown, serve as a sweet case of redemption? "The game against USC showed us how we should be playing," he said. "Cal was a tough loss. They hopped on us for four minutes and we just lost track and weren't able to come back and play with them, although we did play better in the second half. But the USC game definitely gives us a spark."
With all the documented struggles of the Sun Devils thus far, it seems that the squad would be immune to the effect that any further troubles may cause, since they have experienced the lowest of the low and can only get better from here. "Nothing can surprise us anymore, we've been through the worst," he said. "We should be able to overcome anything else that is thrown towards us. The offense is playing better right now, the coaches are being positive…that's all you can ask for – positive coaches, positive people…now it's all about playing good football and getting to a bowl game."
First INT Was Memorable in More Than One Way
Sun Devil Source Top Stories
Position review: Wide receiversArizona State's N'Keal Harry rewrote the Sun Devils' freshman record books with a breakout season that earned him Pac-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention recognition.
Sun Devil SourceYesterday at 12:16 PM
Sun Devils hosting huge recruiting weekendAfter a quiet in-season visit schedule, Arizona State has lined up an excellent roster of recruits to be on its Tempe campus this weekend.
Sun Devil SourceYesterday at 9:20 AM
Position review: Tight endsUnder the direction of first-year coordinator Chip Lindsey, Arizona State's offense deemphasized the role of the tight end in the Sun Devils' passing game.
Sun Devil SourceYesterday at 8:37 AM
Position review: Running backA season after Demario Richard racked up more than 1,000 rushing yards, neither Richard or fellow junior tailback Kalen Ballage eclipsed 600 rushing yards.
Sun Devil SourceThursday at 12:25 PM
ASU priority recruiting targets: TEArizona State has one 2017 prospect who is already committed at tight end, Saguaro High School standout Jared Poplawski. Does it need another?
Sun Devil SourceWednesday at 4:35 PM