Final Dress Rehearsal Before Nebraska

Prior to ASU's Thursday's practice, the last one before its season opener in Lincoln, Head Coach Dirk Koetter talked about the looming matchup this Saturday.

The old Football adage of coaches always wanting more time to prepare, and players just wanting to play stands true with the Sun Devils 48 hours before their game with Nebraska. "As a coach you always wish you had more time," says Koetter, "But the players want to play in the worst way. You always ask your self what about this scenario… You don't have sleepless nights, but you just watch tape so you can work out all kind of scenarios. You want to have a script for everything, but things always come up."

When asked about the pre-game speech he may deliver, the second year coach replied: "I don't believe in the Knute Rockne speeches. I'm just gonna tell them to relax, play, and have fun." Koetter believes that a filled up stadium will be motivational enough for the players, and he does expect his team to play with passion and character. As far as the current mood of the team, he replied: "You'll never get 75 guys feeling the same before a game. Every player is on a different level, some are giddy and some aren't."

Much has been made of starting Nebraska offensive tackle, Richie Incognito, the local Phoenix high school, player who was allegedly disrespected by the hometown Sun Devils during his recruiting process. The redshirt freshman has lashed a verbal attack in a few publications, vowing to show ASU what a mistake they made (albeit by the former ASU coaching staff). Incognito will be matched up against ASU's All-American defensive end Terrell Suggs. Or will he? "Nebraska doesn't pass block that much," claims Koetter who thinks that the ASU defensive line matchup with Nebraska's offensive line will be quite different than the upcoming Pac-10 matchups later this year. "Nebraska runs very different schemes…this won't be a Suggs-Incognito battle."

One may think that ASU can draw motivation from being a 21-point underdog, with experts not giving the visitors from Tempe a fighting chance to win this game. Again, the ASU skipper begs to differ: "I don't feel like we're being looked down (by Nebraska). Coach Solich talks about respecting us…people give us zero chance, but that doesn't hurt us. We'll control whatever we can." Fans fear that a sizeable loss to the Huskers will do irreparable damage to the rest of ASU's season. Koetter refuses to think in those terms: "I haven't given any thought what a loss can do for the rest of our season. You're always better off winning, and I never plan on losing a game."

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