11 Questions and Answers on ASU: Part I

DID ASU PLAYERS fake injuries against Oregon last week, as some opposing fans have alleged? Is Dennis Erickson on the hot seat? What's Arizona State working on this week headed into the matchup against Oregon State? That and more in Part I of our Q&A series with the guy who has his finger on the pulse of the Sun Devils -- Hod Rabino, the publisher of DevilsDigest.com.

1.

Fans around the Pac-10, and particularly Duck fans, have been alleging since the ASU-UO game that Sun Devil players faked injuries in order to slow down Oregon's offense. What's your take on all that?

Personally, I'm not buying it because this is a fast defense that practices against the no huddle very week. They don't need to slow down the game to catch their breath. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion I guess.

2.

Dennis Erickson before the season was mentioned by some in the media as being on the hot seat – is he?

I don't see him being on the hot seat for three reasons. First, financially ASU cannot buy him out and then bring a coach that would cost them even more. Second, this year Erickson brought in new offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone who had successfully revamped this offense. You can't just blow it up after only one year and expect the offense to function at the level it is now. Third, to me 2011 is the season of no excuses that you can really judge the team by. The amount of returning talent next season is bordering the ridiculous (close to 20 players on both sides of the ball) so a team that is fairly young now can be a seasoned squad that should be contending for a BCS game next year. Again, a coaching change this year just doesn't make sense.

3.

How is recruiting going for the Sun Devils so far this year?

It's been OK. The team is going to have a class of only 15 or players and it has just over a handful commits at this time ASU has been very selective about the players it is targeting because of the small class number and many of those prospects aren't expected to make in-season decisions. So the jury is still out.

4.

Do you anticipate turnovers continuing to be an issue for the Sun Devils this week?

I sure hope not. What you saw against Oregon wasn't a continuation of a trend and for the Sun Devil's nation sake it better not be a start of one. I think what happened last week got everybody's attention and will be corrected.

5.

Without giving away any state secrets, what are the Sun Devils working on this week in practice, assume some of it will be trying to become more efficient in the red zone after the Oregon game, yes?

Yes, ball security and red zone efficiency are at the top of the list without a doubt.

6.

What's your prediction for this game – does ASU or Oregon State get the W?

After finding ways to lose the last two games ASU is due for a "cleaner "game and a precious W. I know Oregon State isn't coming in this weekend with a padded record and could use a victory themselves, but if ASU plays up to its full abilities they should win but it will be a grind. ASU by 6.


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