The theme has been constant the last couple of weeks for Arizona State and head coach Herm Edwards. Don’t beat themselves.
It’s been something that has re-occurred, and it’s caused a three-game skid. Dropped passes, untimely penalties, slow starts, and missed opportunities.
“Once we decide to stop beating ourselves, we’ll win a football game again,” Edwards uttered after last Saturday’s 31-26 loss to USC.
The message has been rang around the Sun Devil locker room, and now it’s just a matter of action. For as much talk has gone around, the team is still left looking for answers once the lights turn on later this afternoon in Corvallis.
“We talked to our team a lot about just not self-destructing and getting behind early,” Edwards said. “When you look at the four games that we’ve lost, the score in the first quarter has been 56-14...It’s the same pattern, and I said it after the game. The more that I look at it, the more it holds true. The Sun Devils are beating the Sun Devils.”
Thus, the attention to details will be vastly important and emphasized against Oregon State. It appears that freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels will be back under center, and Saturday’s contest will become a matter of execution after a message was reiterated all week in practice.
It’s worth noting that with a long season, this time of year becomes a part of the season in which many first-year college athletes start to hit an incline. Bodies are banged up, the games seem longer, and the teams become more daunting.
With the amount of freshmen that have played, that might factor into the fatigue and miscues that Sun Devil fans are seeing. It’s not entirely because of that reason, but it’s plausible to think.
Additionally, Edwards stressed some of the pressures that have been applied to sophomores on the defensive side of the ball like Merlin Robertson and Darien Butler.
“Last year, nothing was expected out of those guys. They did some things, and now they have to live up to that. Learning how to do that is new for guys too,” Edwards said. “All of it is a a part of youth and experience, and everything else. Pro football, I always say the first year isn’t the year, it’s your second year.”
Thus, ASU’s returning players, as well as their freshmen, will look to avenge the mistakes of the last three weeks when they step on the field against the Beavers this afternoon. Kickoff is set for 5:30 p.m. local time.