A game to be measured by?

Make no mistake about it; Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson knows that the upcoming road game at Georgia will give him an accurate snapshot of his team's skills and deficiencies. Nonetheless, Erickson doesn't believe that a mark in a contest played at a ranked opponent is necessarily the proverbial measuring stick game.

"I think you measure where you are at the end of the season," Erickson said. "When it's all over and done with that's when you measure where you are at and what you have to do to get over the hump. Who knows how many top 25 teams we will play. We might play four or five of them before it's all over.

"To compete in our league you will have to beat teams that are in front of you, and they are probably a top 25 team. But to go on the road to the Southeast conference and play a top 25 team I don't know if that is a measuring stick."

Sanford Surround Sound

Erickson calls playing in an atmosphere such as Sanford stadium "a happening." He doesn't believe that it will affect the Sun Devils defensively and with a silent snap count on offense ASU seems to have to an effective weapon to negate the crowd noise.

"That's what's you worry about the most," Erickson explained, "It's the noise not being able to hear things and execute your assignments. Calling you names goes through one ear and out the other."

Stats can be deceiving

When discussing the Bulldog defense Erickson doesn't see a seemingly weak unit, despite the fact that Georgia surrendered 78 points in the last two games. He noted that many of those points scored were as a result of big plays and not necessarily long methodical drives.

On offense, even with the losses of quarterback Matthew Stafford and tailback Knowshon Moreno, the Sun Devil skipper believes that the Bulldogs pack just as strong of a punch as they did in 2008.

"(Joe) Cox – will he be a no. 1 pick like Stafford? Probably not. But you just look at his stats. They have two, three running backs there…the key to their offense is that they are better on the offensive front than they have been. They're able to run the football with great success, whoever is back there.

"They have some skill guys outside that can get open and we saw that last year. So we have our work cut for us."

To help prepare for Cox and the Georgia offense in general, Steven Threet, a transfer from Michigan, has been invaluable for ASU's scout team at quarterback.

"It doesn't matter who we play," Erickson said. "Last week (versus Louisiana-Monroe) it was an option (quarterback). Cox is more of a thrower and he can give you that. We're fortunate to have him and we have pretty good scout team receivers."

The kick(ing) is up in the air

With the injury to Thomas Weber, ASU's kicking situation is still uncertain. Erickson stated that kicker Bobby Wenzig and linebacker Mike Nixon have been doing well in practice, but knows that in live reps on Saturday it may be a whole different story.

"Bobby is a very consistent kicker," Erickson commented. "He's knocking them down there pretty good. Nixon has a huge leg. I haven't decided yet what we'll do on Saturday."

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