ASU Players Healing Up For Season Opener

Coach Erickson said that in his experience injuries to players heal quicker than ever, the week of the season opener. Sure enough, after Wednesday's practice he listed three players that missed several pre-season weeks of practice, and that are now poised to play in Saturday's home game against San Jose State.

On the team's performance in Wednesday's practice

"Good, a lot better today. Normally Tuesday you make mistakes, Wednesday you hopefully correct them and don't have as many. We made a lot of mistakes on both sides of the ball, assignment wise, yesterday which is natural. But today it was quite a bit better…offense is better, but we made some mistakes. I thought defensively we made some mistakes yesterday because you're facing a new offense with motions and different things – San Jose does a lot of different things, and we cleaned that stuff up today. Tomorrow we'll just work on the kicking game and be out there for about an hour and ten, fifteen minutes. It's not gonna be physical at all, just a mental practice. We need to play a game and see where we are at."

On what would be the biggest schematic challenges San Jose State presents

"Anytime you face an offense that does a lot of things in multiple formations, three wides, two tight ends, three tight ends…they shift, motion…the biggest thing is to line up and get adjusted to those things – so you're not thinking all the time, you're just playing football."

"Defensively, it's just a different look from what we're seeing. Different blitzes – we just have to learn to pick them up and get familiar with them. They're very aggressive defensively and we have to try and take advantage of that."

On Dick Tomey's tendency to have some trick plays during a game "He'll have a trick play or two. You can't worry about them; you just have to play them. You sit around worrying about trick plays all your life – you got some problems. If he has one, let's just hope we defend it. We show them (the trick plays), and if went through all his years of coaching it would take us all of spring ball to put up everything. We just have to learn to play them."

On his pre-game philosophy as far as speeches, etc.

"I believe you win games on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. I believe that you repeat things that you do all the time, and that you become very accountable on what you do. We talk about that a lot, being accountable during the week so when you play on Saturday you know what you're doing."

"They're certain games where you give pep talks, and sometimes Knute Rockne couldn't come in, depending on the game. The good teams I've been around are leveled and stay leveled all the time. There aren't a lot ups and downs. But it will be an emotional time for us; it's the first game of the year. To play at home…these seniors in particular wanna have a good year."

On the availability of the injured players for this week's game

"We believe Rudy (Burgess) will play, We believe Brandon Smith will play, Luis Vasquez will play. How much we don't know but it looks like they will play. Amazing how they heal on Wednesday."

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