Following the team’s first loss, head coach Herm Edwards had his weekly Monday press conference to reflect on the loss to Colorado and to look forward on Cal. Here are a few of our takeaways.
Energy from the coaching staff
Every Sun Devil fan knows at this point the high amount of freshman playing for Arizona State this season. For those that are in their first season with the program, Saturday’s loss against Colorado made a different feeling than the first three weeks.
Instead of hoping his team would just brush off the defeat, Edwards turned to his staff to help provide the spark on the Monday after.
“I made it a big emphasis today with the coaches, we got to provide the energy,” Edwards said. “Because they’re kind of trying to figure it out, and lo and behold, we got out on the practice field, and they started going, and they got some enthusiasm going, and I think that they’re disappointed, which is a good sign. They’re not sad, like they’re disappointed. They had an opportunity to do something, and it got away from them. So now we get another opportunity.”
Close games, the narrative attached to Edwards’ first season. As much as the head coach wanted to rid himself of the close contests they appear to comeback. The past three games, especially the previous two each decided by three points, have brought back the storyline from a season ago.
Despite Edwards wanting less close games — when they’re in the winning favor because what coach doesn’t want less stress — he’s happy with the reaction his team has given in the situations.
“Now the thing I will say, is that when you play close games, and to their credit, when we were behind, they won’t panic,” Edwards said. “And the players are kind of like, ‘We’re OK coach. We’re going to find a way.’ And to their credit, they find a way to get back in the game. And that says something about who they are. Because that’s hard. You know, when you’re down, or it’s a struggle, and you’re not doing anything on one side of the ball, find a way, if you got to make some plays to get back in the game, they’ve been able to do that.”
The offensive carrying its weight
The groans of the defense’s play from Saturday are warranted, however, the offense’s best performance of the season shouldn’t be blown off either.
“I think when you make big plays in the passing game, it gives you energy,” Edwards said. “It kind of lifts everybody up. Problem is, we made some, and they kept making some. And it became one of those deals where your offense, I think it ignited them knowing, ‘You know what? For three weeks, our defense has kept us in some games. We got to help them now.’ And that’s good, because that’s what you want.”
Although, the unit showed less production in the second half against the Buffs due to the same reason the defense struggled.
“Third downs. Just couldn’t convert third downs,” Edwards said. “And I think both teams, when you think about it, both offenses only scored 10 points in the second half...It became this high-scoring affair in the first half, and then the second half, it’s 10 points by both teams. We just were on the short side of it.”
On his return back to Cal and San Diego State
In his playing days, Edwards spent time at Cal and San Diego State. He took time on Monday to look back on the idea that he’d never imagine coaching at those campuses.
“I never thought in my lifetime when I went to college there, and then when I went to San Diego State, that I’d actually be visiting these campuses again,” he said. “I’ve been back numerous times, but as a coach. The world is a circle, it is. I can remember a lot of great memories walking through that stadium as a player and playing with a pretty good football team. It’s my first college I attended as a freshman back in 1972. Seems like it was just yesterday. A lot of memories for me.
“When I go up and visit that campus, taking my daughters there, and kind of just showing them where Dad first went to college, just to give them a spectrum of where their dad was before they were even born. And it’s kind of interesting to walk over there, so this will be kind of interesting to walk through that place, and I’ll be the coach. I can’t even (inaudible), to be quite honest. San Diego State was one thing, and now I’m going back to this place, you’ve got to be kidding me. So it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Edwards also joked about still holding a record at Cal. Back in 1974, Edwards intercepted four passes against Washington State, which still holds today as the most ever in a game by a Cal player.