Starting sophomore center Kai Maiava talked to us after practice Tuesday.
You guys have had a lot of success the past two weeks, but I'm wondering if it's just that you were physically superior to Washington and Washington State. Are there things you point at that tell you that the improvement with the line, with the offense, is real?
‘'I think our boys have been coming every day at practice and working hard and that game against Oregon (State) really put that confidence that our offense had kind of lost over that streak that we went on, with the losses and everything, and that little boost at Oregon State just gave us that confidence back. I felt like the following two games after that, our offense has been on a roll. I don't take anything from Washington or Washington State, they're good teams, our offense is just clicking and that's the way it has to be this Saturday.''
You feel you have the line executing better?
‘'Our o-line is ready … we had some injuries again and we had to fill in, but it's always next man up and the guys who are replacing are doing a good job, the chemistry is good.''
How did Darius Savage do? There were a couple of times you had to turn to him and help him out at the line …
‘'Darius did a good job from what I saw. He just had to get back into the whole rotation again. Once you're out for that long, you can't just be right back into the speed of the game. But for the most part he did a good job. He took a little while to adjust but after that he did good in the game.''
Arizona State's front four, front seven, is very physical. What's your impression of them right now?
‘'From film they look like a pretty tough bunch. They have good chemistry out there, like to play together and stuff. We just have to go out there and take it as a challenge. They're No. 6 in the nation for run defense, so that's a challenge for us as an o-line, to see if we can move the rock on them. We have to do a good job protecting (Kevin Prince) as well so he can get the ball away to our playmakers … just go out there and play.''
What's the one thing that you need to get that done?
‘'I think it's a bit of everything. A lot has to do with mindset. It's also an attitude. I have to be a great leader out there. I have to make sure everybody is on the same page and I have to make all my calls, make sure everybody is doing everything correctly. We have to be sound, we can't have any offsides, any holding, no stuff like that that sets us back, getting us out of our sequence. It's all on us. We know who we're playing and we know what they're capable of. We just have to go out there and execute.''