More Than an Adequate Substitute

All of the hard work and patience put in by running back Keegan Herring finally paid off in Saturday night's game against San Diego. Herring, filling in for the injured Ryan Torain, proved to be a steadfast playmaker for the ASU offense in his team's 34-13 win over San Diego State.

As a starter on offense Herring registered a career-high 161 rushing yards and two touchdowns. "It felt great," said Herring after the game. "You miss that feeling when you're not starting. It felt great running hard and getting hit, making touchdowns. It's been great."

The speedy running back had a 46-yard carry that resulted in a first quarter touchdown, putting the Devils up 14-3. "I think I was playing hide and seek with the defense," recalled Herring. "I was really just trying to hide away from the defense. When I saw the opening I just took it, and the guy looked like he was trying to make a decision if he was going to tackle me or not so I just ran into him."

One point of emphasis for Herring has been catching out of the backfield. At 5'10, 186lbs he is able to quickly react and break free from the defense. "It's something we've been working on in practice and really makes a difference in our game," said Herring. "The holes were just amazing. The first quarter was shaky a little bit but then our offensive line just had to get back a little bit and holes started racking up."

Going into his third year at ASU, Herring is preparing himself for Pac-10 play next week. He recognizes that there have been some areas of struggle for the offense, but on a whole feels the team is well equipped to face Oregon State in its conference opener. "I think these three games have prepared us for the Pac-10," noted Herring. "These were three good warm-up games for us. Now we are headed off to the Pac-10 so I think it's time to lock in now."

Herring is doing his best to utilize the quality experience gained throughout the past three games. In his opinion, it will be important to focus mentally and to continue to work on his running game during this week's practices. "You should never be satisfied with where you are at," Herring said. "There is always the potential to get better. The next game is the Pac-10 opener; we just have to get our minds focused a little bit more and just keep practicing harder and try to go 4-0."

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