"We have to run the football a little bit for a chance for us to be successful. We couldn't do it and then we didn't do it because we had a situation where we were trying to throw the football to get back in the game...if you can run it effectively when you want to, not when you need to, then you become a better football team and that's what we have to try and accomplish here in the bye week."
Georgia (4-0) came out throwing the ball, and its three incomplete passes to start the game proved to be an aberration. The Arizona State (2-2) secondary could never find an answer to the Bulldogs aerial attack, namely A.J. Green who had 150 yards and a score in the first half, but somehow the ASU defense held Georgia scoreless for the first quarter.
However, the aforementioned anemic running game (with Keegan Herring sidelined with his hamstring injury), along with with solid pass coverage by the Bulldogs, severely hampered the Sun Devil offense. The hosts managed just a field goal in the first half (after not taking advantage of Georgia personal foul that put ASU in the Bulldogs' red zone), which was immediately answered by a Georgia touchdown and sent the hosts to the locker room with an insurmountable 21-3 edge. In Georgia's last scoring drive of the half quarterback Matt Stafford was 3-3 for 68 yards.
In its first possession of the second half, ASU scored its lone touchdown of the game, a six-yard toss from Carpenter to Andrew Pettes. The Sun Devils defense was able to limit Georgia to two field goals the rest of the way, but their inability to gain yards on the ground, along with collecting just 56 yards passing the rest of the way, ultimately sent ASU to its second consecutive defeat of the 2008 campaign.
The Sun Devils won't enjoy their upcoming bye week, but the hope is obviously that ASU can regroup for two tough Pac-10 road tests at Cal and USC.
"We've got to find a way to just make big plays…and until we can do that we are not going to beat these team," said Carpenter.
"We've got to find ourselves," said Troy Nolan. "We have no identity right now. I think we just need to find ourselves…we have the Pac-10 coming up and that's what really counts."
Erickson echoed those same sentiments.
"It's a bye week, but it's not a bye week," Erickson stated. "We have to get better as a football team. There some things we have to look at both sides of the football and see where we are at."
"Obviously our schedule doesn't get easier, so it's a good time for us to sit down and see where we are at. Obviously we have to look at coaches what we have to do better…it's not all players it's all of us in this thing together."