"Anytime you're in the stadium, it's obviously more game-like," said Erickson. "I know our guys are looking forward to going in there. That's what it's all about. I'm sure they'll be more motivated."
It's not like the Sun Devils need the proverbial ‘pick me up.' Despite nearly reaching the halfway point of spring practice, the dreaded ‘dog days' haven't revealed themselves yet in Erickson's opinion. "I thought the intensity level today was better than it was Monday," he stated. "I wasn't happy about Monday and I think that's because we're coming off a scrimmage. If I had this schedule to make up myself, we wouldn't have practiced on Monday. Next year it will be Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday – like a game week." Consequently, this coming Monday's practice will be conducted in shorts.
This week's scrimmage will be similar to last Saturday's affair. "We'll put the ball on the 30 or 35-yard line and just go," Erickson explained. "The least the first group can run in the first series is 12 plays, so if it's three and out you start over. If you're on a drive and you're moving the ball, you'll drive the ball until you punt or kick a field goal." He added that he would like the first team to carry out three series, which would be a minimum of 36 plays. The same goes for the second team, while the third team will probably run a total of 20 plays.
The scrimmage may see some of the team's walking wounded come back to action after missing Thursday's practice. Chris Baloney out with a "slight concussion" and was held out for precautionary reasons. Robert James continues to suffer from headaches, and Erickson noted that "I'm surprised if we'll see him at all this spring." The linebacker has already been out for a week or so. Andrew Pettes has a pulled groin and may or may not be ready on Saturday. Gerald Munns also suffered a light concussion, which happened on Tuesday, but is expected to be on the field on Saturday.
Thing numbers at running backs are forcing two primary players, Ryan Torain and Dimitri Nance to take higher than usual number of practice reps. "They're gonna have to do the same thing in the fall – so get used to it," said Erickson. "That's just how it is. I'm a guy that tries to put them in the spring in situations that they're gonna face in the fall. That's why we hit quite a bit in the spring, because that's what the game is all about…I never worried about guys getting hurt."
As far as special teams are concerned, Erickson said that he likes his kicker Thomas Weber and punter Jonathan Johnson. "We'll spend a lot of time in the spring on punt protection, punt return, field goals and PAT's…we have to get into more field goal and PAT stuff on Saturday."
Erickson's Thursday Post-Practice Quotes
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