Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Weekly Press Conference
Nov. 9, 2009
Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson
On the reinstatement of Oregon Running Back LeGarrette Blount:
'I'm happy for him, I really am. I don't obviously know the whole situation, but I do know that he seems like a good kid who made a mistake and I think they're handling it the right way. Obviously he did what they asked and he deserves to play. As far as the situation is concerned I'm really happy for the kid...as far as we're concerned I'm not really happy about it [laughs], but as far as he is concerned I am. That gives them a one, two, three, four, five, six punch, I guess. They've got so many punches I don't know where the heck they're at, but obviously with his addition it will make a difference.'
On how the ASU defense feels about the challenge that Oregon's offense presents:
'We're excited about the challenge. Offensively at times [Oregon is] a machine. It's frightening at times what they're able to do when things are going right and they have the timing; it's interesting to watch. They'll hand the ball off one time and the guy will go 40 yards, then they'll keep it and then they'll throw it. They've got everything going. They've got a lot of weapons. [Oregon Quarterback Jeremiah] Masoli, for that kind of stuff, is special. It's a challenge for us. We played very good defense last week against USC, so we're excited for the challenge and it is a challenge because not only is it the physical aspect of playing that team, it's the discipline that you have to have against that type of option offense. It's making sure that you are disciplined enough to know your assignment and patient enough to know that they are going to move the football and to not try and make plays that you're not responsible for. The problem that you have is emulating it in practice; that is very, very difficult. It's like trying to emulate the triple option or the wishbone, if you're playing Navy. It's just hard to do. It's by far the biggest challenge we've ever had on defense since I've been here. '
On if the defense is better prepared athletically for Oregon this year than in the past:
'We are, now it's a matter of preparing and being ready. Last year, if you remember last year which I do particularly, [Oregon] went up and down the field, scored 50 points and whatever they did, so I obviously we need to be a little more disciplined than we were a year ago. You've got to simplify things in a plan against them, just so you know what you're doing. So like I said, it's a challenge but I feel like we'll go in there and play well as long as we stay disciplined and do the things that we can do and not worry about giving up a play, because they're going to make plays. You just need to be disciplined and stay with the plan that you have.
On playing in Autzen Stadium:
'[The fans] are right on you. I've been in there too many times, but they're right on top of you. They make a lot of noise. That's one place in our league where you know what you're going to get: you're not going to be able to hear. So [hearing each other] is very difficult. You've got to go on a silent snap count, you've got to do that all week. You've got to be able to signal, so there is a lot of work to do with it.'
On who will start at Quarterback against Oregon:
'I haven't made a decision on what I am going to do yet. We've talked about it and there are things you've got to think about going in there. We'll probably make that decision in the next couple of days. I'm waiting to see what transpires in practice and so forth. [On Saturday against USC] Danny [Sullivan] did not play as bad as everybody might have thought. The one pick he threw was not a very smart play by him and he knows that. The other one that was picked off was a combination. It was his fault, but there were some other things going on in there too. He made some good throws, so it's not that he went in there and played so bad that you're going to yank him. I made the change because I wanted to get some energy going on offense, which Brock [Osweiler] brought to us and Brock moved the football and scored a touchdown and made some plays and it was exciting for everyone to watch. However there were times during that game that his inexperience came out too, as far as not throwing it the correct place in the fourth quarter a couple of times when we had a chance to go down there. I've got to do what gives us the best chance to win. Maybe it's not the most popular decision, but it's a decision that I've got to make to give our football the best chance to win.'
On if playing in Autzen Stadium factors into his decision on starting Quarterback:
'That has an effect on it because it is a hard place to play. As I said earlier you're not going to be able to hear, so you've got a lot of silent snap counts and you won't be able to [vocalize] hardly at all, so maybe that's good because you just call a play and go with it and try to have a plan where you don't need to do a lot of [vocalizing], but it's an experience for anyone to play in there.'
On if he will play both Quarterbacks in the first half of the game:
'I usually like to give a guy four or five series before you even tell. I wouldn't do it that way, I'll just make a decision and see how it goes and make a change once we get into it if things aren't going well.'
On ASU Linebacker Gerald Munns:
'Gerald played very well [against USC]. He's played very well all year, he doesn't get a lot of credit because [Linebacker] Vontaze [Burfict] is a guy out there who makes a lot of plays and is flamboyant and all that, but Munns is good. He's steady and in the fourth quarter he played really well for us; he's had a very good year.'
On Oregon defensively:
They played very well [last Saturday]. They had trouble a little big against Stanford, but everybody has, we all know that. They are just a very active group, their linebackers are extremely fast and experienced. They run seven or eight guys on there in the defensive front. They are very physical. They've done a nice job of recruiting over a long period of time. They stun a lot, they zone blitz quite a bit. They're aggressive on defense kind of like they are on offense. Eddie Pleasant is one of their outside Linebackers and he's extremely fast; probably as fast as anyone in our league. They go together pretty well and they gamble. When you have an offense like that you can gamble a little bit on defense and they do that.'
On ASU's defense against USC:
'I thought we played way better on the secondary than we did the week before. I know [Safety] Clint Floyd played really well and added some things for us back there. Both Carrs [Deveron and Terell] played really well, so we're getting better back there. We're young there, but you know I thought Deveron is getting better, but I thought the addition of Clint helps a lot.'