Koetter Welcomes Bye Week

The ASU Head Coach says that the break in schedule will allow his team to re-group and better prepare for the showdown with Arizona.

Koetter won't wait until the week of the Arizona game to implement his game plan. He would like to get a head start this week, but keeping in mind that he won't have his full allotment of players in the next few days. "We really have three goals for this week. Number one is to get as healthy as we can. There's six guys we're gonna hold out, so they can get as healthy as can be. Number two, we have to get the game plan in on all three phases. Number three, we just have to get back to having some fun, and doing the basic things that help you win Football games."

The ASU head coach points out other factors that are put the bye week in a positive light: "In the situation we're in right now, the bye week helps us because we're beat up. If you're on a roll and you're playing great, you just assume to keep playing. So, It's probably good for us to take a couple days off this weekend. It's also a good opportunity for our coaches to get some recruiting days in, and see some games this Friday and Saturday. With the bowl game coming up, we're gonna miss a bit of recruiting. It's a catch-22. It's great you're in bowl game, but you also miss a few days of recruiting."

The ASU skipper announced that senior safety Al Williams, senior linebacker Mason Unck, and sophomore quarterback Andrew Walter were all chosen as captains for the Wildcat game. Koetter noted that Williams was also picked bestowed that honor last year for the season finale. "The players picked the three captains, and it's their perspective. That's what matters the most. They think they're the best three representatives for this team, and I think they made great choices."

The fact that the Arizona players displayed unsportsman-like conduct at the end of last year's game (by dancing on the ASU logo) won't be forgotten in the discussions between the Sun Devil coaches and players. "That's just one of the many phases of rivalry week. That's one of the issues we have to be prepared for – the way the game ended last year, which certainly is not what College Football is all about. That's one of the things I talked about to the team today. Normally we don't have too many team meetings during the week, but we're gonna have one each day this week. We're gonna talk about those kind of issues." Nevertheless, Koetter believes that less talk and more action is the approach needed for success. "All rivalry games are important to all schools, and this one is very important to our school, and our fans. I get a lot of emails from people telling me how important this game is… I take every game very seriously. I don't try to spend too much time talking about it, and I just prepare for it. That's what I can control – us playing better."

One glaring deficiency in ASU's game against its archrival last year, was the inability to stop Arizona's passing game, and in particular their receiver Bobby Wade. The ASU Head Coach promises a different defensive approach this year. "Last year because we had freshmen corners, and we felt like we had to play off of the receivers. This year we didn't do that with any receiver. We challenged every good receiver in the conference, and for the most part I think we've done a good job. Bobby Wade is having a sensational season, and his numbers back that up. He always makes the first guy miss, and he's hard to tackle. Our best bet is to prevent him from catching the ball." A recurring characteristic of every rivalry game seems to be the abundance of trick plays. Some jokingly call the weeks leading up to the game as ‘Gadget Week'. Koetter believes that it's all a byproduct of the extra week of preparation. "You do have a lot of time on your hands. You have 11-12 games to watch (on Arizona), you're just over loaded with film. You can watch everything, and you probably have the tendency to put some things in (the game plan) that you normally wouldn't do with just three days of practice." Whether it's sound and fundamental Football or an array of smoke and mirrors, the maroon and gold faithful will take an ASU win any way they can get it.

Sun Devil Source Top Stories