Devils Continue Prep for Georgia

Bouncing back from what Dennis Erickson called a bad practice week last week, ASU had a second consecutive practice in which Erickson came away impressed with the attitude and focus of the Wednesday evening session.

"We practiced very well, it's been a good week, said Erickson. "Now we have to take it out on the field, execute and do the things we need to do. The intensity level and focus that we need to have in practice; we've had that the last few days."

"Honestly, we've had it most of the year; obviously we didn't have it last week for whatever reason. We are a pretty good practice team, this is how we've prepared when we were getting ready for Stanford and Northern Arizona, but it has been good."

Erickson stated that bouncing back from a tough loss isn't easy, but it boils down to pride to not let it turn into a losing streak.

"It's about pride as a football team and a program and pride as a player," he explained. "They are the ones, I'm the coach, and we all get it when we don't play well. All I ask of them is come out and play as hard as you can, play the best that you can play and whatever happens, happens."

It won't be easy bouncing back against such a good opponent in Georgia; ASU certainly knows it has its work cut out for them.

"That is why they are ranked third in the country," Erickson said of Georgia, "They are very talented on both sides of the football, they have great skill. Their running back is a great player; obviously, their quarterback is a great player."

"I think the thing that gets overlooked the most is their defensive team. They have great speed, they remind me of the teams I had at Miami. Real fast and big guys that could play inside, that is kind of what they are like."

Erickson said that it has been tough for him to forget the UNLV game and he probably never will.

"That will last longer than any championship I've ever won," he remarked concerning the 23-20 overtime loss last weekend. "But this is a great opportunity for us. It will be exciting; you want to play a game like this every year. A rivalry from another part of the country, it is going to be exciting."

Erickson had former Sun Devil and NFL great Randall McDaniel talk to his football team after practice. The 12-time Pro Bowl offensive guard is in town to be honored on Saturday for his induction into the College Football Hall of Fame.

"Unfortunately, I do remember him a couple times, but what a great player," raved Erickson, "He had a very weird stance as an offensive lineman, you wondered how did he get that stuff done? Then you watch him play, he is truly one of the best that has ever played the game."

"It is an honor to have him back and introduce him to the team a little bit, things coming from him are very important to our players."

Erickson then was asked about his pre-game speech on Saturday and he joked that he wasn't going back to the person he got last Saturday's speech from.

"You don't need the Knute Rockne speeches this week. Obviously, the one I used last week didn't work too well. I guess I better go to somebody besides Knute," he quipped.

"Our guys are ready to play for a few reasons, one because they want to play Georgia, and two they want to get back out there and show everyone what they really are about."


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