Kyle Williams: Big Hand, Big Eyes

Time will tell how well the Sun Devils will do this season, yet one thing is for certain – their 2007 highlight reel will feature many acrobatic catches by WR Kyle Williams. On a day where offensive touchdowns were scarce, the sophomore scored on an 11-yard reception against WSU. Yet, everyone wants to talk about another breathtaking catch that has become a staple of Williams' play this year.

"Big hand-big eyes" is the drill coined by Arizona State Wide Receivers Coach Eric Yarber. It takes place during warm-ups, and is one that Kyle Williams credits his one-handed catch for 13 yards against Washington State – a play to keep what would ultimately be a scoring drive that helped the maroon and gold to a slim 23-20 victory. After Tuesday's practice, he humbly said that he didn't realize that he caught the ball between two defenders – another of his season's trademarks.

Williams admitted that getting the first road victory of 2007 against Stanford, was a monumental achievement before embarking on arguably the toughest out of state trips in the league – a visit to Pullman to face the Washington State Cougars.

"I like Stanford stadium, but there's nothing like Pullman," said Williams who scored three touchdowns this year. "You saw how good Stanford is (referring to their stunning win last weekend against USC); it was good to get that win against Stanford on the road before Pullman because that is a tough place to play. We knew it was gonna be like that before we even got there. Coach Erickson told us what it was gonna be like in Pullman…we have to play (hard) like that against every Pac-10 team."

With 256 yards, Williams ranks second among ASU's wide receivers in reception yards. The 2007 campaign has been to some extent a roller coaster ride for the former Scottsdale Chaparral standout, and he attributes it mainly to the depth at his position.

"We just have some many good players in our receiving core. So one day someone will (have a good game) and the next game it can be someone totally different coming off the bench and (having a good game)," he explained. "We got too many weapons to keep on the sidelines. You just gotta be ready anytime they call your number."

Williams and many other offensive players certainly answered the call this year, as comeback victories have been par for the course for ASU this season. One would have to agree that thus far resiliency is deeply woven into the fabric of this team.

"That's kind of our mentality. Like Rudy (Carpenter) said before – our coaches don't panic," Williams stated. "We get down it's like ‘OK, we're down right now. Let's see how long that lasts.' We're not gonna be down for long. It feels good to come back, but at the same breath you kind of want to get up. If you're down you have to come back and not count yourself out of the game…you have to fight all four quarters."

While some of the team's victories have produced some anxious moments to the staff and fans alike, the wide receiver does see the silver lining in it all. "It will help us when we play teams like Cal, Oregon, USC, U of A – because they're gonna come to play. If we're down in those games, it's like ‘OK, we've been down before. We know how to do it when we're down. This isn't new to us – let's just play football.' That's how we've been playing all year."

Against Washington State, Williams received an elbow hit on the hip, an area he describes as one "which pads don't really cover up these days." The sophomore, who on Tuesday got a few reps off from his position coach and rode the bike during that time, said that he feels pretty good, and by receiving treatment he feels confident about his chances playing this weekend against Washington.

When asked what he sees on film from the Husky defense, he quickly replies: "Matt Mosley", referring to his cornerback friend who played locally at Tempe's Corona Del Sol. "They're fast. They have fast linebackers and a real strong front seven," Williams added, "I think with their secondary we can find a few weaknesses. I think we should find a way to beat them."

These days the 6-0 maroon and gold are enjoying their highest ranking in years, and Williams admitted that the accolades are hard not to notice. "Now everywhere it's announced #14 Sun Devils. But we don't want to get caught up in that stuff six games in," he claimed. "This isn't 12 games in. This isn't the end of the season. This is halfway through, and hopefully we get a lot more and are at the same spot (undefeated) at the end of the season. By no means are we satisfied with that (ranking). By no means are we getting caught up with that stuff."

When asked how far the ASU offense is from playing a complete game, he replied: "We're right there. We're just waiting to the point to hit all on cylinders. Once we do, it's gonna be scary – everybody knows that."

Just like we know another dazzling Big Hand, Big Eyes catch by Kyle Williams is lurking around the corner…

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