No Looking Ahead for the Sun Devils

The popular mantra of "One Game a Time" is an adage that ASU has been uttering all season long. In the midst of a six-game losing streak, coach Dennis Erickson isn't entertaining any thoughts on whether his team can play in bowl if they win four in a row. The only task on hand is simply focusing on the road game at Washington.

"We're just talking about winning our third game," said Erickson following Wednesday's practice. "That's all you can talk about. You can't talk about a bowl game until you get to a position where you have a chance to play for a bowl game, which would be the very last game of the season – if we happen to win out."

"It won't do us any good if we don't win this first one."

When asked if he thought he would ever see the day where a 6-6 team would go to a bowl game, Erickson quipped "They probably have enough bowls for 4-7 (teams)…that's the nature of football now. To me the most important thing that you get out of going to a bowl is that you practice."

For the second day in a row Shawn Lauvao started at right tackle, while true freshman Zach Schlink slid into the vacancy Lauvao left at first team left guard.

"I think with Shawn the reality is he hadn't played out there in a game," stated Erickson. "But he's very athletic, so he brings us a little more out there – pass protection wise in particular."

"The problem is that you're changing two positions, so you have to also talk about the left guard and Zach never played it. It will be interesting. He has a lot of talent and a great future. It's a hell of a learning process for him."

Nonetheless, Erickson is very pleased with Schlink's attitude and approach to the game.

"The thing that I like about him is that he loves the game of football," explained Erickson. "We got to get guys in this program that love the game, have a passion for the game and he has a passion for the game. So he'll give us everything he's got."

In other offensive line news, despite the fact that Thomas Altieri has rotating with Garth Gerhart at first team center in practice, the incumbent will continue and be a starter. "They're competing out here," Erickson commented, "And what we're trying to do, is see how you practice. Whoever practices the best plays, and that's' what you'd like to get at in a lot of positions."

"It's just rises everybody up a little."

Erickson announced that Trevor Hankins, who assumed some of the punting duties in the last two games, will relinquished that role to Thomas Weber.

"He just gets it off quicker," said Erickson of Weber. "He's punted pretty well. My biggest thing was trying to get his kicking (to improve). He's kicking the ball real well right now so I'm gonna move him back."

Scout teams are a team aspect that Erickson extensively reviews when he isn't game planning or preparing for practice. The Sun Devil skipper cannot help but notice the high caliber of young players that make up those units and the prospective future impact on the program.

"As I've said many times I'm excited about the direction we're going in," said Erickson. "Just building a solid base of young players and they come up for three, four years – that's when you win consistently. That's what we're trying to do."


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