Carr an Integral Part of Improved Defense

When Terrell Carr signed with ASU last December, the mid-year JUCO transfer was immediately thrust into a position battle for a starting spot. Despite not being named the opening game starter the speedy cornerback has since then earned a spot on the first team. With performances like the one he had at USC, notching eight tackles, he's poised to be a mainstay in the secondary this season.

When Terrell Carr committed to Arizona State he pledged to a team coming off one of its best seasons in recent memory and a squad that looked like it would contend for a Pac-10 title yet again. Unfortunately, the Sun Devils have struggled so far in 2008 winning only two of their first six contests and have had to endure a four game losing streak that has yet to come to an end.

"We just have to take it one game at a time," stated Carr. "You have to really dig deep and just look yourself in the mirror. 2-4 is hard on everybody. If this is what you want to do you just have to keep coming out here, worry about getting better, take it one game at a time and get better during the bye week."

"(The coaches have been saying) There is still another half of the season left. The first half of the season we weren't too hot and there are about six games left and we still have a shot to get to a bowl game. There's still a bright side if we win out, it's not over yet. There is still a lot of football left to be played so just go make the most of it and don't let it go to waste."

There is a perception that exists amongst many college football fans that all junior college transfers will come into their new programs and will be ready to contribute immediately. However, just like with any newcomers, players such as Carr aren't immune to a transitional period before they become comfortable in their new surroundings.

"(The transition) was a little rough," admitted Carr, "but now I feel real comfortable. Everything is starting to slow down for me a lot. It was rough in the spring. I really had to come out here and learn how to practice. Now everything is a little smoother."

"I've had some pretty solid performances lately. I still have a lot of work to do and a lot to improve on but I do see myself getting better with each week and each game. That's the critical thing but I still have a long ways to go."

Carr's improvement could very well serve as a microcosm for the entire defense. This Sun Devil unit has matured greatly and although the box score might say otherwise the defense may have had its best performance of the season last Saturday against USC.

"We really just had to settle down," explained Carr. "We let them get out on us early because we weren't settled down. They didn't hit us with anything we hadn't seen but we were just out there with happy feet. Once we settled down and started just playing ASU defense where we read and react we were good. All we had to do was settle down. We didn't make any extra special calls."

Next up for the Sun Devils are the Oregon Ducks, another school that has been decimated by injuries. Oregon has given Arizona State loads of trouble recently including two drubbings the last two times the Ducks visited Tempe. Although not as volatile as last year's team, Oregon presents plenty of challenges on both sides of the football.

"I haven't had a chance to check out too much film of them," said Carr, "but by watching them play they run the spread offense and have a junior college transfer at quarterback from San Francisco City College that's pretty good. They use multiple receivers so it's going to be a challenge for the secondary again."

Fortunately for the maroon and gold, they have an extra week to prepare for the showdown with Oregon. The bye week is coming at an opportune time as many players are trying to get healthier.

"I need the bye week really just to rest," remarked Carr. "The USC game was pretty physical so I'm a little banged up. I'll just take the bye week to rest and come out here and get better with the extra days of practice."

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