Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 3, 2008

On Washington:
'Well, obviously they're in an unusual situation, losing their coach, or their coach being fired. I've known Tyrone for many years, and it's a travesty as far as I'm concerned, but that's how it goes in this business. But, they have some talent; they play well at home a lot of times. Obviously the New York Giants aren't coming in there to play them. I'm sure that they look at us as a game that they can win. They do have some talent; their young quarterback [Ronnie Fouch] is playing pretty well. They have a lot of young players. They're very similar to us in that they have a lot of young players. It's a difficult situation. Who knows how to react to that situation? It's two teams who haven't won; we haven't won in six games and they haven't won at all, so it's two football teams that are dying to win a football game. That's kind of what it's all about if you are going to take the game and look at it. It's two teams that are just dying to get a win.'

On Washington coach Tyrone Willingham:
'I'm not going to sit here and talk about their situation. My thoughts have always been, in college athletics, no matter what the sport may be, ever since I've been in it is, the longer you have a program and keep someone in there for a long period of time, to me, the better chance you have to be successful because it takes time to recruit and do a lot of different things. When you make changes all the time it just seems like you start over, but that's just my opinion.'

On Willingham's success at Stanford:
'He did a great job at Stanford. I was at Oregon State at the time. We played them twice and split. He had that program going in the right direction, as does [Jim] Harbaugh now, but they've had a couple in between, so it's not easy. But, he did a great job at Stanford, I thought. They have the right guys in there and I have a lot of respect for Ty. I always have ever since he's been in the business. Obviously, that's part of the business anymore, even more so than it used to be.'

On ASU's performance against Oregon State:
'We played with great effort. I liked the energy that we played with against Oregon State and I thought that we obviously had chances to win the football game. We're just not making plays when we need to. You can go through a number of different situations, and anytime it's a two-point game, obviously you can go through every play and say if we did this or if we did that. With the enthusiasm of how we played the game, that's how you play the game. That's how the game is meant to be played. I thought that we did that probably the best that we've done since we played Stanford. To me, that's what we have to continue to do, and if we do that, then we have an opportunity to win the rest of our football games, but it's something that needs to be done all the time. It's not something you can just do every once in a while. That's how we have got to play in this program every time we line up; have fun and fly around. Defensively, we made a lot of plays, tackled better. You know [Jacquizz] Rodgers is a heck of a player. Offensively, we made some plays and I thought that Rudy [Carpenter] played real well in that game. I'm not happy with the loss at all, but we did play with enthusiasm. You can't look at it as anything other than a loss, but there were some positives that you can take out of that game.'

On Shaun DeWitty:
'Shaun played well. He's finally healthy. The reason we decided to start Shaun is he does every aspect of the game very well. He's a good pass protector, he's a hard runner, and he's a guy that is not going to make mental mistakes. We felt that we needed that; we need that against everybody, but we felt that we needed to keep people in against Oregon State because of their pass rush, so we were able to do that. He ran the football pretty darn well, and we will continue to start him. We'll start him again this week. Then, we have to balance it up a little bit to see a little bit more of Keegan [Herring] and Ryan Bass, whose hamstring has been off and on. So, you'll see more of those guys.'

On the penalties against Oregon State:
'Well, we had ten penalties, and we had six offsides. Of the ten, six of them were that. Maybe [we were] anxious, not focused, the crowd. There are a lot of different things, they're all excuses though and you can't do that. You can't put yourself at 1st and 15 on the road as many times as we did. We were in those situations every time. To me, it's focus. We used the silent snap count quite a bit in that game, because we couldn't hear. A couple of them were on that. I don't know, it's just lack of focus to me. So, if you can't handle it, then get someone in there who can. That's the bottom line and that's what you have to do.'

On Nate Kimbrough's punt returns during the Oregon State game:
'Nate energized us. I guess that's the best way to put it. He had a couple huge returns, and we didn't get anything out of the last one. We know it was a great return by him and if we turn and make the right block, he probably takes it to the house, but we don't get any points out of it. We get sacked, and then we were having a little bit of a problem because our long snapper couldn't hear the snap, so the timing of the kick at times was off. We made some changes at halftime, but you don't get any points. It was 7-6 at that time, not much time, so it was crucial. We had a chance to get ahead and we didn't.'

On the team's red zone struggles:
'We just haven't been able to hang our hat on anything down in the red zone. We're just not executing, and we're just not doing the things that we need to down there to get it into the end zone. We were down there five or six times, something like that, and we end up kicking four field goals and miss one. On the road against a team like that, and they're a good football team, you get some touchdowns and in a close game like that, it's different. The red zone is an issue; we're not getting it in the end zone. We've done it all, so all we can do is keep plugging away. The thing that we did do, is we were in the red zone, five or six times. We moved the football pretty well at times, better than we have all year, against what I consider a pretty good defense. That's a plus aspect of it and sometimes you get down there against a good defense and it's hard to get it in the end zone, but we have to get better there too.'

On Lawrence Guy:
'He's really a good athlete. You put him inside, he has great balance and he's a natural, I guess you would say. He's making a lot of plays and playing as well as any freshman I've ever had. He gets better all the time, just like all freshmen. I look at him down the road as a guy that could be really a dominant player, because he's going to get naturally bigger and stronger. I can't look that far ahead, to be honest, but he's playing pretty well for us right now.'

On if having Trevor Hankins punt has helped Thomas Weber's kicking:
'Thomas is kicking a lot better; he really is, so that helps. It has helped him. Hankins didn't punt badly until the last one, where he shanked it. We have to get a better performance out of him, because he's a lot better punter than he showed the other night, so he has to step up and punt. To be our punter, you have to step up and punt, and if he isn't, then I'll go back to Weber. The reason that we did it wasn't only because Thomas wasn't kicking very well; we also did it because Hankins has been punting pretty well. We just have to get a better performance punting the ball.'

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