It’s been nine days since Arizona State’s disastrous collapse in the second half at Utah. If you’re an optimist, the bye week came at a great time. ASU was able to review film, study their mistakes, and learn from them without immediately preparing for its next opponent. If you like to look at the glass half empty, the week off allows for the team to stew on the ugly loss, and let it permeate the mood of the locker room. Either way, it’s game week again as Washington State comes to town this weekend for an afternoon (!!!) showdown in Tempe.
Here’s what Herm Edwards had to say in his weekly media availability session.
Everyone’s Favorite Subject: Penalties
“As a head coach I’ve never had a penalty. I don’t play. The players have to realize that. We have 33 fouls on offense, 22 on defense, 11 on special teams. It’s amazing we are 5-2 averaging 100 penalty yards per game. You can’t keep living in that world. I think the players understand that.”
It’s clear Arizona State will prioritize playing a clean game on Saturday. (They’ve said they’ll prioritize that at least three times now.)
On the Leadership of His Veteran Team
“Leading is easy when you’re winning,” Edwards said. “Every game is important and it gives you momentum. We lost it and we want to get it back. We have some good leaders on this team and the next five weeks they need to be leaders.”
Herm noted that the bye week is especially good for reflection, and elaborated that he and his staff prioritized that last week.
“I think we addressed the situations we needed to address. The coaches did a really good job of capsulizing things that we need to improve on for the next five games of the season. I think the players had a good mindset when they came back on Sunday.”
During a long season, it can be easy for a coach to begin to sound like a broken record. Perhaps players get tired of hearing the same voice over and over. In an effort to communicate to his players uniquely, Edwards penned them a letter.
“I wrote the leaders a letter, told them what I expected. Sometimes I think when you talk to them in person, that’s one thing, but when they can read it and look at it, the message really sinks in,” the fourth year head coach said. “I’ve always been that person that when I get a letter from somebody, I really focus in on what it says, and I can read it over and over again. It’s my job to inform players on where we are at.”
If ASU has a repeat performance of its disaster second half in Utah, Edwards is going to need to stock up on stamps.