Wednesday's Practice Report

Just when one key player for the Sun Devils is getting close to full strength, another one is nursing an injury. Keegan Herring is progressing nicely, but placekicker Thomas Weber has suffered a broken wrist a week and half ago. Nonetheless, his injury isn't expected to sideline him for ASU's first road game of the year this week.

Thomas Weber was sporting a cast on his left arm, which was a result of an injury he suffered in the Georgia game, most likely (at least according to Weber) when he had his punt blocked. "I just found out about it today," said ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson. "They didn't see anything on the first X-Ray, and then they came out and said it was a Navicular (fracture) – I had one of those."

"All I can say is that I never had a kicker break his wrist."

Erickson felt confident that the injury wouldn't limit Weber this weekend, but that it was contingent on how far the sophomore's cast could be trimmed so he could punt. "It's not necessarily the punting," explained Erickson, but it's the catching (of the snap)."

The ASU head coach was pleased with the way running back Keegan Herring practiced tonight, and even though he noted that the running back isn't 100% he's close to full speed. "If there isn't a setback tomorrow, he'll be ready to go," commented Erickson.

On the other hand, Erickson stated that another running back, Jarrell Woods, won't travel to the Cal game this week due to his ankle sprain, but he has a chance to suit up for the USC road game the following week.

The current forecast for Saturday's game calls for a high of 62 degrees and showers. Erickson wasn't worry about that Berkeley forecast, and said that the team will just have to execute the best it can despite the possible inclement weather. Furthermore, he didn't think that these conditions gave any one team an advantage.

"There's no way you can simulate that and neither can Cal," commented Erickson. "It's not like it rains up there everyday…they have to play in it too. Obviously you have to be careful with the ball and if it's really bad it alters what you call offensively, and what you can call."

"I lived in that area and I've never seen it downpour very long. It might be for half an hour."

Ever since the Georgia game, the ASU head coach has reiterated that the Sun Devils have to run the ball more effectively. In the nearly two weeks of practice since that contest, Erickson feels that the team is showing signs of being more physical, but naturally the real test will come on Saturday.

"We're making an attempt to run block better," he said, "and to come off (the ball). We'll see what happens. We'll try to run the football against these guys and if the weather report is true we're gonna have to probably run it even more."

The increased physical nature of the team obviously starts with its offensive linemen. Erickson said that it's a mindset that he and his staff has taught and talked about for several months now, but the team just hasn't displayed it.

"We ran the football pretty well in the spring, ran pretty well in fall camp," Erickson noted. "Didn't run it against Georgia because we didn't run it and that was my fault. Ran it good against (Las) Vegas. Didn't have to run it against Stanford…you can look at all the games. I've looked at them all…"

"Our program here hopefully Saturday and as time goes on it's a program that about being physical. That's how we better play in order to win. It's not just the offensive front. We have to be more physical on defense too."

In practice the only notable change in the depth chart was that Garth Gerhart took a lot more reps (in comparison to recent weeks) at first team center, but I wouldn't say that he has a very good chance to start over Thomas Altieri.

In the team drills offense and defense were pretty even. Many members of the secondary were having one pass breakup after another. However, Kyle Williams had an excellent practice showing incredibly sure hands and his usual burst of speed after the catch. Chris McGaha had a couple of trademark catches.

In terms of the running game, even though a lot of the work was against the scout team the OL did a great job run blocking and all running backs were hitting the holes hard and finding quite a bit of daylight.

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