Walter In, Christensen Out At Quarterback

Coach Koetter said that his decision on a starting quarterback for the San Diego State game wasn't going to be "earth shattering". Thus, announcing that Andrew Walter will start in place of Chad Christensen was a predictable resolution based on the performance of both signal callers in the Central Florida game.

"We're gonna flop roles this week" Said Koetter, "Andrew is going to get 60% of the reps, and Chad is gonna get 40%. We're gonna start off with Andrew, and see where it takes us…I told Andrew that his approach has been excellent (coming off the bench) and I hope he doesn't change it." The ASU head coach said that he spent about an hour each talking to both players, and Christensen said he didn't want to come out. "I told him that I wouldn't want him to think any other way. I told him that we played two QB's in every game so far, and there's no reason why we can't continue to that. That will be determined in practice. I thought the way Andrew played in games, is the way he practiced."

Koetter doesn't expect the offensive troubles to miraculously disappear just because of a change in quarterback. "We have to play better on offense, and we have to play better at quarterback no matter who the quarterback is. Our defense is playing really darn good right now; we've been better on special teams, so in general we have to be better on offense. We just have to see if this move will work better in the long run. For right now the coaching staff feels it's better to go this way." In his press conference, the ASU skipper hinted that the offensive playbook tends to open more when Walter is under center. Did that fact influence his decision in regard to the game plan this week? "This (quarterback change) is based on what we've seen so far. I did say that (about the play calling), but this move is based on performance. Everything we do has to be performance based. We don't want to rotate quarterbacks in and out, but it comes down to performance."

Facing San Diego State on the road, will give the Sun Devils a chance to break their road game jinx. The team hasn't won any games on the road last year, and Koetter is eager to break that streak. "We need to win a road game. We want to clinch a winning record in our non-conference schedule, that's one of our goals. We have to win on the road at some point in order to achieve all of our goals." When asked if he's game planning for both quarterbacks, The ASU coach simply smiled and said: "I'm game planning for Arizona State. Our game plan is based on playing San Diego State."

So, a quarterback controversy is solved in a quick and logical manner. While the starting position is far from being etched in stone, it would be fair to say that if both players continue to execute like they did against Central Florida, that Walter could be occupying the starting spot for quite some time. Regardless who occupies this highly visible position; it's imperative that he does project stability. If the position does continue to be a continuous shuttling of players to and from eth sidelines, then the Sun Devils may be hard pressed to improve on the disappointing 2001 season.

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