Vasquez, Devils Earn Much Needed Bye Week

It's not only the back-to-back losses that have the Sun Devils welcoming the time off. The continuous grind of games and practices that has lasted for nearly two months now makes Luis Vasquez thankful for the short hiatus, and in his case it's a break that has been well earned.

"I'm gonna leave my playbook in the closest, put my feet up and watch college football and NFL," said Vasquez on his plans for this weekend. "Basically just relax and get my mind off things and rejuvenate. Two losses get to you and you're not as focused as you need to be. Getting away from football can help."

In a losing effort against Georgia, the defensive end notched four tackles, one of them for a loss, and was praised along with his front four teammates by Head Coach Dennis Erickson their efforts.

"I was just trying to go out there and make some plays," Vasquez stated, "just do whatever it takes to win. I made a couple but it obviously wasn't enough to get the win. The defensive line did a great job in that game for the first three quarters but in the last quarter we put it in neutral and they took advantage of us."

Playing across the line from of one the top defensive ends in the conference, Dexter Davis, has naturally helped Vasquez to see no double teams and perhaps fly under the radar when it comes to game planning by opposing offenses. Consequently, with his 14 total tackles after four games he's on the pace to break his 2007 total of 43.

"Dexter definitely has the bullseye on his back and other teams noticed that," acknowledged Vasquez. "It's definitely gonna give me a lot more opportunities to make one on one plays there. Dexter being successful last year (his 10.5 sacks tied him for third in the Pac-10) is definitely gonna help me be successful this year."

The defensive line rotation is full of underclassmen, with the majority of them being newcomers such as Lawrence Guy (leads all defensive linemen in total tackles with 16) and Jamaar Jarrett. These players and others have already been applauded by the ASU coaches and you can also count Vasquez as one that has been impressed by these first-year players.

"Our freshmen class is loaded with a lot of D-I talent," explained Vasquez. "They're all great physical specimens that need to learn the basics, the knowledge of the defense. But give them two years this defensive line is gonna be real nice."

Thursday marked the first practice where the Sun Devils started implementing in practice their game plan for Cal, and Vasquez pointed out that a great challenge awaits the maroon and gold in their first road test on the season.

"They're one of the better offensive lines we'll see this year," noted Vasquez. "They got (Jahvid) Best there in the backfilled who has a lot of speed. They have good wide receivers. We need to fly around the ball and make some plays so we can hopefully shut them out."

Vasquez didn't believe that the Cal game is the proverbial make or break game for the season, and he placed its importance along the lines with remainder of the Pac-10 teams ASU will face in the next couple of month.

"Every team in the Pac-10 in tough," he said. "We're 1-0 in the Pac-10 and that's the only record that counts right now. I feel that every game from now until the end of the season is very big."

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