Change of Scenery

It may have taken longer than other parts of the country, but the fall season has finally arrived in Sun Devil country. With a high temperature in the 80's practice has moved outside, a change that was welcomed by Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson.

"It's nice to be outside," Erickson said. "It's gets humid in there (the indoor practice facility). We'll keep it outside for the rest of the year depending on what transpires. Unless it goes up to 95, 100 degrees…

"Anytime you can come outside, I think it makes a difference. We use (the indoor practice facility) for a purpose, and it serves a purpose which is to get out of the heat. Now that the weather is starting to change we'll spend most of our time out here. It's good to be out on the grass. It seems like you breathe better."

In contrary to the change of venue, Erickson noted that the structure of practice hasn't changed today.

"Every Tuesday it is run, play-action pass day for us with the scout team," Erickson explained. "Then we go team-run 1's against 1's. We may add something or cut back something, but it's pretty much been the same for a long time."

Erickson remarked that he was pleased with the energy displayed in practice, but even more pleased with the focus shown in the Tuesday session. "We talked a lot about that today," Erickson said. "Focusing on getting ready to play a football game. Not that we haven't talked about it 10 million other times, but another reminder."

Up front changes

The sever shuffling offensive line once again had a new look today. While Thomas Altieri lined up at center, Garth Gerhart played right guard and redshirt freshman Patrick Jamison saw some time at first team right tackle. Left guard Jon Hargis who is still bothered with a shoulder vacated at times his spot to Brent Good.

Doubling Down on Davis

Senior Dexter Davis has recorded double digit sacks in each of the last two seasons, but with one third of the 2009 campaign in the books the defensive end is still searching for his first sack of the year. Erickson acknowledged that Davis could be frustrated with his production in this area.

"I talked about that with Dexter today a little bit," Erickson commented. "He's getting doubled by the tight end and the back, or they (the opposition) are turning to him with two linemen. The bottom line, as I told him ‘if they're doubling you, somebody is one on one and they better start getting a pass rush on them.' Somebody better start putting some pressure on so they can't double him."

Arizona State has recorded just three sacks this season, and only one of them, by Saia Falahola, has come from the defense's front four.

"It's frustrating, but we see it all the time," Erickson said. "We double great players too. You have to. You try and play them one on one and it will be a tough day.

"We had four-man pressure five-man pressure…we didn't get the pressure that I thought we would get in that (Oregon State) game to be honest. You get big plays in the passing game when you have time to throw it, because those routes take so long."

Opening it up for the tight ends

The game on Saturday featured a four-wide receiver alignment for the majority of the snaps, due to an injury to tight end Jovon Williams. Yet, through four games only 3 of ASU's 78 receptions and 21 out of the total 882 receiving yards have come from this position (all by Williams). Erickson stated that this group will be more of a factor in the aerial attack, as well as in the offensive scheming in general.

"We will be in three wides a lot of the time," Erickson noted. "We will be even more in two-tight this week. Our offense will change as our personnel will start to develop. We have two good young tight ends and you never know, things can change as time moves on."


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