With the No. 24 Arizona State coming off of their worst loss under Herm Edwards, the team heads to Southern California to take on the UCLA Bruins. Edwards addressed the media for his weekly press conference. Here are some of the highlights.
On the Bruins
The No. 24 Sun Devils head to the Rose Bowl to take on the UCLA Bruins on Saturday. Edwards opened his presser with comments about the Bruins and how thy have started to figure things out in conference play.
“They just came off of a win beating Stanford on the road,” Edwards said. “It’s like last year about this time, they got better, and their quarterback is playing very well, and they have some explosive players on offense. Defensively, now they seem like they have got that thing fixed and they have got some athletes. That’s one thing we have got to realize when we play these guys. They have got explosive players on offense and they run the ball a little bit better than what people imagine, they run the ball for 160 yards a game.
“They are very balanced on offense and they can score some points. the one time against Washington State, that was unbelievable how many points both teams scored but they are playing a lot better and they play with a lot of energy. when you look at their record, they have the same conference record as we do. They just feel like they are starting to get momentum and they have got a young team as well, a lot of young players. this will be a good football game for us.”
Bouncing back from Utah
ASU went into Salt Lake City in a top-20 matchup and a chance to be in the drivers’ seat of the Pac-12 South. However, the Sun Devils weren’t able to take down their third ranked opponent on the road as the Utes held the Sun Devils to 136 yards on offense. Now, Edwards will look to get his team back in the win column against UCLA before heading into their second bye-week of the season.
“Well, we haven’t played yet. So, I’ll tell you after the game. I think it’s one of those deals, it was a big game for us and the fact that both teams had the same conference record. Going on the road and playing a very good opponent but as I said before we played this game, ‘As we continue to build this program, we want to play again, cease you learn a lot about yourself.’
“We learned some lessons and the team understood, we didn’t harp very long at all. They were disappointed, they weren’t discouraged, and they understood that we put ourselves in this position. Now, how do we continue to win more games and put ourselves in position down the road? That’s what you hope for and that’s part of building a program. As far as letdown, I don’t want to get into that. I know one thing; we lost a game and now we want to try and win one.”
What Jayden Daniels can learn from Saturday’s loss
This past Saturday was rough for the freshman quarterback as he finished with 25 yards passing and was sacked three times and knocked down a few more times.
“He gets to be a freshman because that’s what he is. Life is about how you recover, and Jayden will be fine. We had a good talk after the game and a good talk yesterday. He’s good, it’s one of those deals, he whispered something into my ear on the sideline when the game was ending and I looked at him and said, ‘I believe you.’ I just think it’s one of those games where they made him uncomfortable early and it was hard, it was very hard against a really good defense a team with a lot of experience.
“Knowing Jayden, he will put that in his memory bank and that’s where he is going to grow and all players do, except when you play quarterback, you get exposed more because you play with the ball. If it’s a left tackle struggling some, you can help him and you can chip and help him some, but it’s not a big deal right. When it’s the quarterback it’s like, ‘Oh, he’s had all these games where he’s come back and done all these things and all of a sudden, he’s Superman.’
“No, he’s a freshman quarterback and he get to be a freshman and we will live with that. I want him on my team and I’m not going to trade him. We will do this, and he understands it and that’s what I love about the kid. He took it all in and looked at it as we were walking off the field.”
Third down struggles
ASU’s offense struggled all game to convert third down opportunities and Utah’s defense was able to shut down any momentum that the Sun Devils had coming off a defensive takeaway
“Third and eight, third and 14, third and eight, third and 17, third and six, third and seven, third and 10, third and 22, third and 12, third and eight, third and seven.”
“Three and outs, three and outs, three and outs. We can’t get third and long, you got to make positive yards on first down and when you do that, you shoot yourself in the foot against a good defense and it’s raining,
‘Come on’. You can’t play like that and we know that and to their credit, they got us in those bad downs, and you can’t continue drives. We ran the ball a couple of times and we had some spots where we felt like we moved it and then a penalty or a bad snap. Those guys beat us, I’m not using excuses. Whoever watched the game, saw it and you can’t live that way. You can’t play behind the chains against a good defense.