Last season Jones started in eight games for the Sun Devils. In those contests Jones totaled three touchdown receptions. Jones has started in two games for the maroon and gold this season, in which he has registered three touchdowns. Two of those three TD receptions came in Saturday's game against Colorado. "I had to step up as a veteran on the team and return as the leading receiver. I knew I was going to be a go-to-guy this year and I was looking forward to the challenge," Jones said after the game.
"It was a blast," said Jones fresh off his victory. "They (Colorado) were, in my opinion, ten times better than San Jose State." Jones recognized that Colorado's front seven were going to stop the run more effectively than SJSU and that he had to step up his game. "Their front seven was very physical, they stopped the run. We had to step up as wide outs," Jones commented.
The Sun Devils were two different teams in Saturday's game. In the first quarter after being down 14-0 due to penalties and mental errors, Jones knew that something needed to change. "We just wanted to calm down," Jones told reporters after the game. "We knew we could score 14 points in a matter of minutes and it was really early in the game." ASU's first score came late in the second quarter when Carpenter hooked up with Jones for a 12 yard pass. "We just had to fight adversity and come back and run the plays correctly and do your job," Jones noted.
ASU scored 19 points in the second quarter, took the lead, and never looked back. Although they had the lead, Coach Dennis Erickson was not pleased with the performance of his team at the half. "Of course he was disappointed," Jones said. "All head coaches are going to be disappointed with, I think we had maybe five of six personal fouls, and we were just beating ourselves in the first half." At the half the visitors had 80 total yards of offense but ASU contributed 81 yards of progress for them on seven penalties. "If we had no penalties the game wouldn't have been close," Jones claimed.
This year is marking a new era for Jones who says that he feels more confident than ever in his game and his team. "I had high goals for myself," Jones said. "I wanted to be one of the best receivers in the PAC-10 let alone the nation and I knew I had a job to do because last year I wasn't very successful."
"I wanted to step up and I knew I was capable of doing it. I've shown it these last two games," Jones said. Oh and Jones' glare protector is a handwritten note that says "respect me," that Jones says is a motivator for him. "I don't think I will earn it until the end of the season," Jones remarked. He added that at that point, ASU will have a record of 13-0 and will be thinking about their reservations to the Rose Bowl. "Last year I was questioning myself on a lot of things," Jones stated. "Even catching the ball and running routs. But this year I just go out there." That is a token to Jones' appreciation as a receiver. "I don't even think about anything, I have fun, pretty much playing catch."
Hurricane Jones is still building up pressure with the climax yet to come. "We have a lot of tricks up our sleeves that you haven't seen yet," Jones said with a slight glimmer in his eyes.
Consistency Doesn't Elude Mike Jones
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