Oct. 31, 2001
Writing these articles week after week can be a difficult task. Especially after a game like we played on Saturday against Washington. We were behind, we were ahead, and then we lost on the last play of the game to the 11th best team in America (according to the polls). Unless you have played competitive sports for any length of time, I think it is impossible to explain the emotions during and after a game like that. The highest high is replaced by the lowest low within seconds. Your heart can soar and crash at the same time. It's magical really. It's college football.
There is no such thing as a moral victory, but if there were, we would have won it. The bottom line is that we are every bit as good as any team on our schedule. Each time we come out in the third and fourth quarters and don't just compete, but dominate our opponent, it is unbelievably frustrating to lose. We are so close its sickening. One more of this, one less of that... I could go on forever pondering the what ifs.
The facts are these... Washington made plays when they needed to and we didn't. That game is over, and as hard as it can be, our entire focus must shift to Autzen Stadium and the Oregon Ducks. It's not a secret that no one is going to give us a chance to win up there. I like that because all the pressure is on the Ducks to start another winning streak at home after losing to Stanford two weeks ago.
The last weeks of our schedule are no day at the beach. We play three Top 15 teams, two of those are on the road (UCLA and Oregon). With everything stacked against us, it is our opportunity to play spoiler and try to get ourselves into a bowl game. I know that our team will never quit, and I know that the seniors will step our games up even more over the next few weeks. For us (the seniors), four or five more games and it is all over.
Life goes fast, and college football goes faster. Any real Sun Devil will remember what happened the last two times we played Oregon. We've lost by a combined 4 points, on two plays, in the last 10 seconds. Close doesn't cut it in this league. We have to find a way to get it done. This is by far the biggest challenge yet, but as we've proved already, we'll fight anyone, against all odds, for as long as necessary. Go Devils!