Carpenter Looks Ahead to Oregon

Rudy Carpenter was wearing a brace on his right wrist nursing a bruised thumb during Monday's press conference, but he could still talk football.

"It's fine," Carpenter laughed about his thumb. "I just jammed it on Keegan's (Herring) chest." Carpenter said that the thinks the accuracy of this throws actually got better after taking the bruise. It seems that the Sun Devil team as a whole performs better after taking a few bruises too.

"We came into the half and it really was not a secret what we needed to do," Carpenter said about playing from behind yet again at Sun Devil Stadium. "I made a lot of adjustments in the run game in the second half, just changing some of my running schemes and the way we were going to block it," said Carpenter who handed the ball off over 50 times Saturday night.

"That is one of the things the coaches do a real good job with game in and game out," he added. "I think that is why we have been so good in the second half all these games, because they give us a chance." Carpenter seems to be well in synch with his receivers at this point in the season and he said they just keep getting better.

"Obviously there is going to be times where you struggle a little bit," Carpenter said about in game anxiety. "But I think overall we have done pretty well throughout the whole year." 8-0 can count for pretty well. "But I think that we are going to continue to get better as the season keeps on going," Carpenter added about his receiving core. "I think we have only gotten better," he added.

The receivers and ball carriers have been getting a lot of attention lately, but Carpenter knows that his defense is keeping them in games while he is resting on the bench. "I think they are definitely the strongest part of our team right now," Carpenter said about the Defense, namely Robert James and the secondary. "Troy Nolan, Justin Tryon and Robert James are all doing a great job and we need them to continue doing that for us to keep being successful."

Last Saturday's victory was special for Carpenter, who had a poor showing against Cal last season. "I think it was a big win for our team and obviously for our program," he said. There was speculation about ASU's marginal strength of schedule to open the season, and national pundits were excited to see the Devils against a ranked opponent. "I think we did it and we came back and played good in the second half against a really good team," Carpenter said about what their win means nationally. "I think we need to show things like that, so people will really start believing in us."

Tight end Brent Miller came back and preformed well for the Devils this week and Carpenter said he looks forward to going to his most experienced TE more often. "He knows what he is doing," Carpenter said about Miller. "He's smart and he has been around a lot." Miller allows the offense to open up the playbook a little more, Carpenter said, because Miller is their most experienced blocking TE.

Next week in Oregon is going to be ASU's toughest challenge yet, once again. It seems like every Monday Carpenter says this. "I think they are only going to continue to get bigger as we keep going on through the season," he said about ASU's remaining games against Oregon, UCLA then USC and U of A. Every game is the biggest of the year when you keep on winning, said Carpenter with a display of wisdom. Nothing has changed for the ASU front man though he said.

"I think it's really the same, to be honest with you," he said about his every day life. "Obviously there are more people now who pay attention and who know what we're doing, but I try to keep it fairly simple and try to keep it the same."

"As far as the pressure goes, it's hard to say but I guess we'll find out on Saturday once we get into Autzen Stadium and we start to play. I'm just really having fun getting a chance to be a part of a good team and a winning and successful team. It's been awhile since we've had a season like this, so it just feels good. It's fun right now and hopefully we can keep winning," Carpenter said.

He may not realize how much truth is in that statement, well unless he noticed that 71,706 tickets were sold Saturday.

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