DeWitty Gives Needed Boost to Run Game

After several weeks of sub-par performances the Sun Devil running game finally had a breakthrough game last Saturday. Against Oregon State Beavers Junior Shaun DeWitty got his first start of the season and capitalized on the opportunity carrying the ball sixteen times for 110 yards.

"Well, being a football player it's always good to get on the field and play football," said DeWitty who hadn't rushed for 100 yards in a game since his senior year of high school, "but I don't really feel any different than I did the week before because we still didn't get the win but it felt good it felt good to get on the field and just play football.

"It was real rewarding. The offensive line was just opening up great creases and I was just trying to squeeze through them."

His performance was rewarding to Arizona State fans as well, being the first 100 yard rushing performance by a Sun Devil all season. DeWitty, who had been used primarily as a blocker and receiver out of the backfield, broke off a 54-yard rush and helped the Sun Devils stay afloat in a game where they were multiple touchdown underdogs.

"I try to perfect everything (the coaches) ask me to do to the best of my abilities but I will do whatever (the coaches) ask me to do," noted DeWitty. "Our team can build on every game we've been in. We would have liked to come out with a win but we finally got our mojo back a little bit. The offensive line got a lot better and opened up a lot of big holes for me and I was just running through them."

Although it wasn't made public until game day, DeWitty admitted that he was informed on Tuesday of last week that he was going to get the start against the Beavers and stepped his game up accordingly. The Colorado Springs, Col. product is confident that his team has what it takes to bounce back and make this season salvageable.

"You can tell we're a little down but we're staying positive. We're trying to fight through it. We're going to come out alright," remarked DeWitty. "All of our tailbacks all work pretty hard. We feel like we're going to get better everyday so that's what we try to do is just get better everyday and keep working."

Statistically the Sun Devils have one of the worst running games in the conference and are in the lower tier of all FBS schools. They rank ninth in the Pac-10 ahead of only UCLA and are averaging only 85.9 rushing yards per game.

"We should be (a better running team than we are)," claimed DeWitty. "We just caught on a little late. We're going to finish out the season and come back next year stronger."

Although the Sun Devils have lost an embarrassing six games in a row, they might finally catch a break this weekend as they travel up northwest yet again, but this time it is to take on the Washington Huskies.

Washington is a school suffering through even greater turmoil than the Sun Devils are and are winless on the season. All-Pac 10 quarterback Jake Locker remains injured and it was recently announced that head coach Tyrone Willingham will not be with the team after the 2008 season.

"We don't really focus too much on what (the opposing defense) is doing," commented DeWitty. "Our coaches always just tell us to focus on what we have to do. Just tell us what we have to do, tell us what our responsibilities are and we'll just try to execute it to the best of our ability."

"It's the same mindset we take into every game; we have to come out with a victory. That's what we've been trying to fight for since our last win."


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