Offensive Effort, Health is Improving for ASU

Star running back Ryan Torain may have not been at full speed on Wednesday night, but according to Coach Dennis Erickson he should play on Saturday as will other players who were nursing injuries.

On whether the effort on offense tonight was better than Tuesday's practice

"We were a little bit better. Didn't make as many mistakes and executed pretty well. Wednesday is a big night (practice) for us because we're out here over two hours…(doing) a lot of red zone and things like that. Tomorrow is a mental Thursday for us. But I thought today was a lot better on both sides."

On the health status of Ryan Torain

"He's OK…hit (his) knees so we kept him out today - precautionary. He'll play." Erickson added that Torain's injury was suffered during the San Jose State game.

On the health status of other injured players

"(Dimitri) Nance and (Rudy) Burgess were really good today. Brandon Smith - doesn't look like he'll play to me, from what I've seen…Ryan (McFoy) ran pretty well today and there's a chance he will run particularly on special teams on Saturday…Travis (Smith) got banged up, a little shoulder contusion they think. He had a little numbness in there so we kept him out. I believe he'll be OK…"

On how much easier is it to evaluate the players after being in a real game situation

"It's gonna be totally different this Saturday then it was last Saturday. It's just the nature of the competition. You find something out about you every single week. Every Saturday to me is an opportunity, and you don't want to let those opportunities go. The good thing about last Saturday is we did get a chance to have everybody get a little taste of the game. So every week you kind of evaluate where you're at."

On the play of Tyrice Thompson

"He's a competitor and he loves playing the game. He runs. He's tough. We can play him at tight end, H-Back…he's kind of one of those hybrid irons you hit. He does everything and he's really gonna be valuable to us as the year goes on."

On what his biggest challenge is this weekend

"Just playing consistent. Playing like we played last week. Continue to play like that and don't be up and down emotionally. Come out and be ready to play."

On the job done in practice shoring up the defensive breakdowns

"We were better this week defensively mentally than we were last week. That comes probably from experience, with Coach Bray and the defensive staff. We practiced very well yesterday and practiced very well today. I hope we play as we did last Saturday…you don't want to give up a big play or blow a coverage. That's the biggest concern we have and we have been pretty good."

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