James, Defense Bounce Back From Slow Start

Robert James is less than impressed with ASU's 34-13 win Saturday night over San Diego State. The defensive leader is not exactly sure why his squad came out lethargic but knows that they need to correct it.

"I think we came out kind of sluggish at the beginning," James said after the win. "I know as far as myself I didn't get my wind until after halftime." The entire defensive squad was confused why they were playing sluggish, said James.

In the second half James collected seven of his 11 total tackles. The ASU defense yielded just 99 yards in the last two quarters, after surrendering 224 in the first half. "It wasn't until after halftime that we caught our breath and were ready to get going. For whatever reason we weren't playing full speed," he said. "After halftime we stepped it up…we went out there and tried to get the job done."

Defensive Coordinator Craig Bray wasn't as much angry with the defense as he was encouraging, according to James. "He basically told us that we are going to simplify the defense," James said. "We are going to come out with the base and play base eight out there and just do our job. Instead of trying to have nickel come in. we are just going to line up and play our game"

SDSU threw some things at ASU that they saw on film but were still unprepared for, according to James. "We saw the option on film," James said. "But it kind of seemed like they had more players than us at some points. I asked myself ‘why is there so many guys right here?' We are going to come in tomorrow and watch film and make corrections."

"You have to be prepared for whatever a team will bring at you," James added. "Sometimes you practice for all these formations and they come out with something different. You just have to adjust to it and play football."

"They were switching formations and they added two different quarterbacks in and switching and stuff," James added. The focus for James is going to be getting back to the basics and to do a good job of running to the football, he said.

"I felt like they were better than Colorado," James commented. "We really didn't think that they were going to be that good. We knew that they had plays in there that were tricky plays."

James might be referring to the fake punt that SDSU successfully pulled off. But they are 3-0 and the linebacker feels that anyone badmouthing the defense should look to the scoreboard. "Each game we come in we don't have a chip on our shoulder," he said.

The senior stated that they are ready for the PAC-10 conference play that is set to kick off next week. James acknowledged that he has heard a lot of people doubt his abilities once the games get tougher. "So I'm just going to take it one game at a time," he said.

On James' right arm, there is dark Olde English lettering that says "Dare to unleash the power that lies within." James says that it reminds him to do his very best at everything he does. "I'm daring myself to dig as deep as I can."

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