Sullivan excited for his Homecoming

After what he called his best game ever, including a virtual last second winning TD pass, don't expect Danny Sullivan's to try and come down from that emotional high following a 24-17 win over Washington. Not when approximately 200 friends and family from Los Gatos, Calif. will make the 30-minute drive to Stanford stadium to see the quarterback and the Sun Devils take on the Cardinal this week.

"Yes, this game is going to have a good contingency of Los Gatos people there," Danny Sullivan said during his weekly press conference. "I have gotten calls from all of my friends back home saying that they are going to go. I have kind of had this (game) circled on my schedule for awhile, because it is my only chance to show people what I have transformed myself into and what I can do for ASU."

And what he did at Sun Devil stadium last Saturday will be remembered for a long time. With 13 seconds left in the contest, the senior found a wide open Chris McGaha for the winning 50-yard touchdown. Ever since, the Sun Devil nation has been replaying that video clip time and time again, and sending it to Sullivan's email and Facebook page. Yet Sullivan has been content replaying that amazing play over and over in his mind.

"The ball was on the 50-yard line with 13 seconds left and we still had a timeout," Sullivan recalled. "Basically we were trying to get something. If we could get 25 yards, that would have been good to set Thomas [Weber] up for a 42-yard (field goal). We had comebacks on the outside by Gerell [Robinson] and Kerry [Taylor] and then we were just going to try and work the seams with T.J. [Simpson] and Chris [McGaha]. T.J. was designed to go back to the hash where the ball was.

"I saw their safety down over Chris and I was thinking, why would they even have him there if they are going to try and prevent anything? When he stayed there, I saw that they were in their bear front, and I was like, it has to be cover three, because they have not played cover eight out of it. My first intention was to go to Gerell, and I saw their end drop out and that is when I thought, we have the seams, we have to. Then my intention was to go to T.J., but the safety was right on him and Chris was wide open. It is going to be one of the greatest plays of both of our careers, for this team, and maybe for this university."

Sullivan admitted being emotional after his team's win, and sought out his parents after the game in the west stands of Sun Devil stadium. It certainly was different kind of sentiment for the quarterback who was booed in his last home game against Oregon State.

"Everything that happened in that Oregon State game got a little justice," Sullivan remarked. "We came back and got that play. You look at the whole game and it was a pretty good game. I have no words to even describe my emotions. Everyone back home saying, `get ready for Stanford, because we want another one like that.' I have support all over the place and that is the best part."

Needless to say that Sullivan isn't resting on his laurels, and is focused on keeping the momentum going for a tough match up versus the Cardinal.

"This is a new week and anything can happen," Sullivan stated. "It is great to get a win and be 4-2, it is great to get a win here [in Tempe] against a great opponent, but we have got to move on and get ready for Stanford. They have had some rough losses the last two weeks, and I think they are going to be ready to go to get back on the winning track. They are a tough team. They lost a close one against U of A, and I think they are ready for some redemption to get back to where they want to be."

Even though the offense had a season high 464 total yards versus the Huskies, the signal caller doesn't overlook the missed opportunities that took place last Saturday.

"You get frustrated when you don't score touchdowns in the red zone," Sullivan acknowledged, "but it is a learning process, that is for sure. We have gotten closer and closer every time, and that is what we are trying to do. If we are making improvement, that is good. Eventually we will get those points back.

"I feel we are pretty confident right now, especially with our offense. We had something like 170 yards rushing and almost 300 yards passing, thanks to Kyle [Williams] boosting those numbers. We are pretty confident, and we just need to keep it rolling. It is a new week, a new team and a new game plan. We need to just make sure we are prepared."

Sullivan didn't spare any praise from his offensive line and their performance.

"They are pretty good now," Sullivan noted. "Once you get those guys together, like I've said before. Those guys have experience now and they are ready to go. They have seen everything that (opponents) can bring at them, and that experience helps. The sacks are definitely limited this year. We only have ten. They are doing a great job, especially with the run game."

One of the quarterback's newest weapons is wide receiver Jamal Miles, who made his ASU debut last Saturday. Sullivan mentioned that the true freshman was a pleasant surprise.

"Having Jamal back there catching those bubble screens is going to be nice," Sullivan explained. "I do not know how he got away with some of those spin moves. I thought my knee was going to go out. Once you get his [Jamal's] confidence going, he is going to be a great player. He still has a long way to go, but he knows he is getting better, we know he is getting better and we like where he is at."

Another player who made his debut, being a redshirt sophomore nonetheless, is his fellow quarterback Samson Szakacsy, who played only one snap on an option play where he drew a late hit from a Washington defender.

"I was proud for Samson" Sullivan stated. "For the last three weeks, we have tried to have a play for him, and then we get down there and we don't call it. When he strapped on his helmet, that was when I was like, ‘wait we are actually calling the play?' I am so proud for Samson. He has worked so hard, even though he has dealt with his arm injuries. For him to go out and get helmet-to-helmet, he was shocked because that was his first hit and didn't know what to expect.

"My emotion for Samson is very strong. I love that kid and good things are going to happen to him."

Sullivan quipped that Kyle Williams will now brag about his quarterback rating, now that he threw a 30-yard score to T.J. Simpson last Saturday – his only pass of the season. However, he's generally happy that the offense's trick plays have been brought to life against Washington.

"Pulling them (trick plays) out was lots of fun," Sullivan said. "It takes a lot of pressure off of us. Guys were just playing loose and having fun again. That's how we have to have it. Every week is a grind. Who knows what we'll bring this week?"

The ASU quarterback expects the Stanford defense to play hard and aggressive, despite their back-to-back losses, which has been their staple ever since Head Coach Jim Harbaugh arrived at Palo Alto three years ago.

"He (Harbaugh) does a great job of preparing those guys to be physical and fly around to the ball" Sullivan noted. "Clinton Snyder is always the one guy who jumps out in my mind. He has been there for a while. He is a big, fast player and loves to hit you. He will be one guy that we have to keep our eye on. You know you are going to get the best from Stanford every time you go out. I have known that for years, especially with Coach Harbaugh. You are going to get their best every time."

It has been sheer excitement for Sullivan ever since the Washington victory, and he believes that his touchdown pass to McGaha will go down as one the best offensive plays ASU has had this decade. It was a win that Sullivan thinks the team, on both sides of the ball, can build on.

By all accounts, ASU's last game should refute the notion that claims Sullivan isn't equipped to win a game for his team. However, Sullivan doesn't feel that the proverbial Monkey is off his back quite yet.

"I still feel that there is a little bit of monkey on there," Sullivan claimed. "I'm sure someone will say ‘it's only one game' and what not. In mind the monkey isn't off my back and I just have to carry it to the next game."


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