Carpenter Unworried About Team's Psyche

During his weekly press conference ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter had little to say about last weekend's Oregon game and preferred to concentrate on the upcoming match this weekend at UCLA.

The Sun Devil signal caller mentioned how one loss is not going to ruin the Sun Devils' season. "I think we'll be fine," Carpenter said about the team's attitude. "We still have a lot to play for and everyone on our team realizes that we still accomplished the goals we had set for the season, so I think we'll be fine."

One stat that sticks out for all Devil fans is the nine sacks that Oregon had against Carpenter. "I think it was an assortment of things," Carpenter said about the reason for the significant number. "There were a couple of times where I probably could have ran or threw the ball away, but it's tough because in the first half I was sitting back there and I had time and I was throwing the ball and completing a lot of passes on them."

It wasn't apparent during the game whether ASU's O-line wasn't showing up, or if Oregon's defensive line was just quicker off the ball. "They just brought more pressure, but it's hard to pick up blitzes and it's hard to do that stuff on offensive line and the running backs," carpenter remarked.

However way it went down, Carpenter admits that it was a loss that wasn't more painful than any of his others. "We just have to come back next week and prepare for UCLA," he commented. "This is over now."

Next week is going to be a homecoming for Carpenter who said he grew up cheering for the Bruins. "Growing up as a kid I wanted to play in the Rose Bowl all the time," said Carpenter who grew up just twenty minutes away from Pasadena. "It is my favorite stadium. I grew up watching all those guys (UCLA). It's one of those things that I look forward to when I get a chance to play there at that stadium; it's really fun," he added. Besides coming off of a loss, Carpenter noted that playing at the Rose Bowl will make it easy for him to hype himself up for this week's contest.

Despite what FSN announcers were saying about Carpenter playing injured on Saturday afternoon night in Eugene, Carpenter claimed that "It just got hit a little bit but everything is fine." Thus, he put an end to any speculation about his performance being related to his health.

Although the Devils got their first win this decade in the state of California, when defeated Stanford in late September, they still have another hurdle to overcome when playing in Los Angeles. UCLA and USC have both proven too tough opponents for Carpenter and ASU, and he said winning at the Rose Bowl will have special meaning to seniors on the team.

"It's completely different because no one here has won in Los Angeles at UCLA or USC since they've been here," he noted, "so this is a good chance for those seniors and for the people who have been playing to get their first win in Los Angeles especially against a good UCLA team."

Carpenter is already preparing for UCLA he said and that "we still have a great possibility to play in a BCS game." He mentioned that the UCLA defense is going to be a hard challenge for the Devils that will take preparation and practice. "They have a defense player named Bruce Davis, who is a good player. I think he was All-American last year, so he's a great player for them," Carpenter said. "They also have two safeties, and Dennis Keyes and Chris Horton, who are their two leading tackles and very good players."

Carpenter added that lots of Sun Devil players who also have their roots in Southern California are scrambling to obtain extra tickets for their friends this week. "That's the big argument in the locker room right now; its tickets," he said.

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