Carr looks to make an impact

The classic saying is that football is 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical, which may seem farfetched considering the average size of a collegiate football player, but if one player makes that statement true it's 5'9'' 177 pound senior corner Terell Carr.

The Sun Devils travel to Pullman this Saturday to take on the Washington State Cougars in hopes of breaking their current two-game losing streak and notching their first Pac-10 win this season.

Plenty of things went wrong for the Devils last Saturday, including a huge letdown by their talented defense, but Carr feels that the problems were simpler than people think.

"We just came out flat," Carr admitted. "We weren't focused. We got a big headed. It's evident that we're a pretty talented defense when we come out and play. Defensively we know that and we've got the guys out here to be a great defense, but we just came out flat, overlooked our opponent, which was Oregon State. They are a good football team and you can't overlook good football teams because they'll come out here like Saturday and hit you in the face."

Bouncing back from a game like that can be tough for the more talented team when they lose, but Carr feels the team did what it needed to do this week to make sure last week doesn't carry over to this Saturday.

"Really just pick it up at practice," Carr noted. "It all reverted back for us to focus, be disciplined, be assignment sound, and sharpen everything up. We got a chance to watch film against Oregon State, break it down, and just come in to practice and fix our mistakes. It's back to the practice field, back to the drawing board to get everything sharpened and cleaned up.

"Their record doesn't show it, but they're a good football team. I just focus on the wideouts and the passing game. Their wideouts are tenacious out there. They have great skill guys too, so it's going to be a competitive game Saturday."

Carr has been in and out of the starting line-up all year, but for the time being is starting, and making the most of his opportunities, especially with Omar Bolden sidelined this week. When asked about the situation, Carr talked a big game in front of his teammates Kyle Williams and Jarrell Holman, who were eavesdropping on our interview.

"It's been tough because deep down I know I'm a starter, I'm a 1 for sure," Carr added with a chuckle. "But at the same time I had a couple of off the field issues, and a couple of injury problems. It's been tough but at the same time I'm gonna just come out here, keep doing the things I'm supposed to do in practice and I should be in the starting lineup the rest of the season."

Cornerbacks Coach Greg Burns' take on the situation was slightly different than Carr's, but much like his player he showed confidence as well.

"He's working his way into (the starting lineup)," Burns said. "He was slowed in fall camp due to injury. But now he's getting all the kinks out and getting back that feel for the game, that rhythm that he had last year. I'm impressed.

"I always believed I had three starting corners anyway. Each one of those guys was pushing each other and depending on the way the game went some played longer than the rest. But in my mind I always knew I had three starters, regardless who actually started."

Carr's size, or lack there of, is noticeable when matched up against taller receivers like WSU's 6'4'' wideout Jared Karstetter, but don't tell him that. His feeling is the bigger the better…for him.

"I like going against the big receivers," Carr claimed. "95 percent of the time they are slower, so I can just get up in their chest. Honestly, it's tougher for me to play against guys my size because they are a little more shifty, they are kind of like me and I have to size them up, but I love playing against the bigger receivers. I can just do me and get in their chest and I can run with them all day. I don't really change up my game against the bigger guys, it's more so the smaller guys."

The Sun Devil defense will need to regain its form for the team to stay competitive in the Pac-10, and according to Car, they will do just that.

"As a defense, we have to come out and be focused," Carr pointed out. "It starts Friday night. As long as we're focused on what we have to do then nobody can mess with this defense. It's just going to take great focus and great energy and we'll come out and do what we need to against Washington State on Saturday.

"This week is a must win. We're 0-1 in the Pac-10 right now. We're down two straight, so this weekend is a must win in Washington where it's going to be a little chilly, but we have to come back with a win, there is no ‘ifs,' ‘ands,' or ‘buts' about it."

The defense has come up with some big plays this year. Including nine total interceptions, but the distribution might surprise you. Holman has all three INT's for the safeties, the linebackers lead the defense with 5, and Omar Bolden has the only pock for the corners. Those stats can be tough for such a proud group of guys, but Carr believes their time is coming.

"The corners, we should make up for it," Carr pronounced. "We started slow, we're gonna bounce back though. We're past due. The safeties are free players; they get to roam all day. They're just back there in the back, looking left and right. They aren't really doing too much. They just open their arms, and the ball just comes into their hands.

"We do have a competition though, and that's why you see out here in practice when someone drops an interception we get down and do some push-ups. It's competitive, everyone wants to make plays and an interception is a big play for the defense right there."

When asked whether he preferred an interception or the satisfaction of not being challenged by the offense, Carr had a tough time answering.

"That's a catch-22 right there," Carr admitted. "You want to be on your game so much that they don't throw your way, but if they do end up throwing your way then you want to make them pay. You can't beat an interception all day, but if they aren't throwing your way, that means they respect you both up in the booth, and the quarterback. Either or is great."

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