Q&A With Mike Williams

One of the lone bright spots on the Sun Devils' offense last week was Running Back Mike Williams. The junior ran for 77 yards, and scored the lone ASU touchdown on a 34-yard run. In this interview Williams talks about the offensive performance against Nebraska, the mental state of the team following that loss, and his constant battle for playing time.

DevilsDigest: Mike, With 77 yards rushing and one touchdown against Nebraska, how do you feel you played?

Mike Williams: We did pretty well as an offensive unit. We were a little sluggish first half, but we picked it up the second half…we started to get up on our assignments. When we did, that opened more holes for me. The O-line did a pretty good job with their assignments. We're a very young team as far as the O-line is concerned. When they start getting the job done we'll see bigger holes and bigger games for us.

DD: How did the Nebraska run defense compare to other defenses you faced in your ASU career?

MW: They were pretty tough. They had a lot of big D-linemen that were going against our young O-line and we really didn't know how to handle them at first. Later in the game, our offense line started to get more intense, and they started getting their blocks down. That helped us run harder.

DD: What was the mental state of the team after that game. Were you disappointed that you lost by so much, or encouraged that you hung with them for three quarters?

MW: We played them pretty tough, but at least we had a chance against them. We had some letdowns on special teams that turned the momentum of the game. Once the momentum of the game shifted like that, it was hard to get it back. Especially playing at Nebraska. We're taking a lot from that game, and hopefully we play with the same intensity this week.

DD: It seems that your playing time your first two years here was dictated by Delvon Flowers. When he was injured you were the starter, and when he played well last year, you didn't see much playing time. Now you have Hakim Hill breathing down your neck. How hard is it each year fighting for playing time?

MW: It's always a challenge like that in College Football. There's always somebody working as hard as you are to win your starting position. Coaches say that the best man plays, and so far I won that battle for the first weekend. I just have to keep playing hard week in and week out, and I hope that as the season goes along I remain the starting tailback.

DD: How important is it for you to start? Are you just happy getting some quality playing time?

MW: It's important to me. Once you get into the rhythm of the game that opens up a lot of things for you. Coming off the bench it's sometimes hard to get into the flow of the game. So, I like starting. But if you don't have a choice, you come off the bench and help the team as much as you can.

DD: Is it a big letdown playing Eastern Washington after playing Nebraska the week before? Do you notice less intensity in practices this week?

MW: Mentally it's harder for us to get up, and get the intensity back up. But we have to play well, and not take anything for granted.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories