There's not really much the Arizona State Sun Devils can say at the moment.
With Arizona State standing 4-4 (2-3 Pac-12), reality has sunk in that the Sun Devils' 2015 campaign is officially a disappointment.
In Monday's press conference, coach Todd Graham spoke for just under seven minutes, by far the shortest of the season, and looked indifferent throughout his address. Quarterback Mike Bercovici spoke for a minute longer in his session and seemed a little different, but still slightly more upbeat than his coach. Neither member of the team offered an opening statement.
If there's something Graham and Bercovici have been proud about throughout this failed season, it's that the team has stayed inseparable. You won't hear any of the players fighting, complaining or giving up on each other.
"I can't ever fault our team and their effort," Graham said. "Our guys never give up. They never quit. They play to the end of the whistle. They play to the last whistle."
Graham continued by saying the team suffered two close losses against the Oregon Ducks and the Utah Utes that both could have gone either way. The only loss Graham said ASU truly suffered was at home against USC back on Sept. 26.
"They're going to play hard, and obviously it's a different match-up with Washington State, but there's still a lot for these guys to play for," he said. "These guys have been a part of a pretty special time here, and these seniors are really important, so we've talked a lot about that and talked about, you know, we can control what we can control. But these guys will go and play. I don't have any doubt in how they'll go and play."
From a player's perspective, Bercovici said it hasn't been difficult maintaining the team's morale. In almost every Monday press conference, the senior captain has raved about his team's chemistry. At this point, Bercovici said the players are playing for themselves and making memories they can look back on 30 years from now.
"I think that's something that you don't got to worry about with this unit," Bercovici said. "Regardless of the win/loss column we have a team that is full of leadership, full of guys that have stuck around here for a purpose. They have a lot of investment in this program, and you know, going into the last four football games, obviously we're not looking past one or the other, but it's going to be an exciting run to the finish line. We've got guys who have been here for five years, so it obviously means something to us to finish out strong, and it's just going to be day by day, just kind of soaking it in, just how this is coming to an end."
"It's a case that in 30 years being able to look to the person next to me and telling them I put everything out on that football field for them to win and that's what makes our unit special," Bercovici continued. "We're led by coach Graham who is an unbelievable leader in terms of being in these types of adverse situation, how we're going to respond, and that's all we're going to go do come Saturday. We're going to go fight and claw and answer the scratch."
Graham addresses questionable officiating in Oregon game
The Sun Devils' loss to Oregon last Thursday was nothing short of dramatic. While ASU players and coaches will be the first to admit they lost, the game was filled with questionable officiating, particularly Ducks wide receiver Braylon Addison's controversial touchdown catch in double overtime that stood even after review.
When asked if the conference offered any explanation on Thursday's officiating, Graham said he hopes the Pac-12 office looks back at the game.
"I turned all those plays in, and you know, obviously I can't comment about the officiating. But I did send them in. I have not heard back."
Graham addresses Reynold's off-field incident
The Arizona Republic reported Saturday night defensive lineman Deonte Reynolds was involved in a fight at a gatheringat a American Legion hall in Tempe with gunshots fired.
Graham couldn't offer specifics but gave a brief update on his situation.
"It was a deal where he was a victim, so, you know, he's just recovering right now," Graham said.
Reynolds, a junior who transferred from Contra Costa College over the offseason, has not played this season.