ASU Football: Practice goes on amidst Steve Patterson departure

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The talk of the town will be about Steve Patterson leaving Arizona State for Texas. Meanwhile the football team remains solely focused on playing at Utah.

Tuesday morning was supposed to be typical for the Arizona State athletic program, but instead Tuesday turned into chaos. Steve Patterson departed to take the Texas athletic director job in the blink of an eye. Regardless of the outside noise, the football team needs to block it out and handle its own business, just like Patterson did.

Todd Graham wouldn't comment on Patterson leaving, yet he did express some kind words for his former boss. Regardless of the changes in the upper management, Graham doesn't believe the team will be affected.

"Well obviously I think the world of Steve [Patterson], been a great partner. He was a person that was instrumental in bringing me," Todd Graham said. "I'm just focused on our team, ASU, the Sun Devils and going in and beating Utah."

Dominating Washington State 55-21 at Pullman, Wash. gave the players some much needed confidence on the road. Playing at Utah will be an even tougher challenge, as fifth ranked Stanford lost in Salt Lake City earlier in the season.

"Best mental Tuesday that we've had. Felt really good about our guys work. I think our guys know the significance of this game," Todd Graham said. "We're starting to practice like champions."

Other practice notes

  • Tight end/H-back De'Marieya Nelson was carrying a green non-contact jersey
  • Osahon Irabor was donning the green non-contact jersey ending his record setting run with the Pat Tillman jersey.
  • Marcus Ball continues to wear the green non-contact jersey, and the redshirt option seems more and more likely.
  • Richard Smith was working with the starting group at wide receiver over Cameron Smith. Coming into the season, Smith held down that spot but lost it due to drops and fumbling issues. In the past few games Smith has begun to turn it around, meaning he could see more opportunities.
  • D.J. Foster wasn't working with the running backs. Foster spent the majority of the day lined up at wide receiver and alongside Robert Nelson for punt returning duties.
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