Barrett, ASU Look to Repeat Success at Autzen

Josh Barrett admits that in the five years he's been at ASU, there has been no bigger game than this Saturday's trip to Oregon. The task of winning at Eugene's Autzen Stadium seems daunting based on various experts. Yet, the safety knows it's feasible to win in Eugene as ASU achieved that feat in 2002 and 2004.

"Up to this point, this late in the season, there's definitely not been a game that meant as much to this program as this one coming up," said Josh Barrett. "It's gonna be a fun environment. Everyone is gonna be fired up. They'll be tons of ASU fans there I'm sure, and we just really have to step up like we've been doing all year. Do what we've been doing all year and get a win in a hostile environment."

Playing in that antagonistic environment at Autzen, is like no other for the senior. "Electric. For the first time in my football career, I felt something that was almost electric," he explained. "It raises goose bumps, prickles your neck…it's a totally different feeling than you feel in any other environment. For football it's awesome because it fires you up."

This weekend Barrett will have a message to his teammates that haven't experienced Autzen stadium . "Don't get too excited – the environment will get you excited." However, excitement is still a necessary ingredient for victory. Barrett recalls what transpired in 2004 where the Sun Devils won 28-13. "Coming out we were in pretty good shape. Condition wise we had guys that could play a full game," he remarked. "We had senior leaders that would be great. We played assignment sound football and on special teams we were flying around making plays, which gave us a huge advantage in that stadium. We played to the crowd. Just as quickly as that crowd can get stirred up and fired up, they can be quiet just a quick. So that's on us to make plays."

Barrett sees his teammates buying into the system of the coaching staff, and having more accountability. Thus, the 8-0 record. "Guys really are putting it on their shoulders individually, " said Barrett, "and doing what it takes for everyone else. That's huge."

Against Oregon, the safety says that playing assignment sound football is the key, against the Ducks' Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart. "When given the call you play your assignment, that's when we see a lot of them get into trouble – is when they're playing off instinct and running to where they think the ball is going. We came out today (in practice) and did a good job of that."

The safety pointed out that preparing for Washington signal caller Jake Locker just a few weeks back, could come in handy when facing Dixon. "They're both similar, and it does help," he remarked. "The Safeties' role is different when you play that type of quarterback. You have to play a scheme that prevents them from making plays, and one that you will make plays yourself."

Much has been written about the ‘simple' defense that has been employed by the Sun Devils. The safety doesn't refute the lack of complexity as he sees the success of this group continue to grow.

"Since I've been here it's been the most simple scheme I've run," Barrett noted. "We just have playmakers who just buy into it and want to make big plays and guys who are enthusiastic about our program and about being out here practicing and the future – the games that we would ourselves in a position to play. With all that it's just going out there and playing comfortable."

It hasn't been that smooth of a ride for Barrett himself in 2007. He tried to play through pectoral injury, which cased him to lose his starting job. At no time did the safety sulk about this, and he has slowly come back into a starter role. "As far as a team we've been up all season, so for me it was easier to keep a good attitude and do the things I needed to do to make an impact on the team," he said.

The burst of emotion after the Cal game last Saturday is one that Barrett relished and saw as a milestone. "It was awesome, but also expected. I just took a deep breath afterwards and soaked it all in," he stated. "I never had that feeling in that stadium in my career. I felt a sense of pride."

What's interesting about the maroon and gold is that they always seem to know when to let out their emotions, and when to take the no frills, business like approach. "The word is nine this week," said Barrett. "That's been the thing that we're going through each week and it's been continuing. It's awesome to feel that you're in a position where a lot is on the line. The only way that we can keep it going is to do what we've been doing and that's coming out here (in practice), getting our work done, keeping it humble, keeping it confident, keeping a solider like work ethic."

"You can hoot and holler when you're making plays, just as long as you're doing what you're supposed to do. And then you go back to work."

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