Inside ASU Football

Oct. 17, 2002

This week we are looking forward to our big game at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon. The Ducks have the 2nd longest winning streak in the country, and are ranked #6 in the nation. We couldn't be happier with the way our team is competing and playing a physical style of football. Our defense is coming off a tremendous effort vs. Oregon State, in which Josh Amobi earned the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Week Award and our 'D' held OSU without a touchdown. In fact, our 'D' has not allowed a rushing touchdown in 11 quarters, and leads the Pac-10 in take-aways and sacks. Terrell Suggs continues to lead the nation in sacks. Our Defensive coaches had a great plan for OSU, using some straight 4-3 defense vs. double tight end sets, and the 4-2-5 vs. 3 wide receiver sets. Just as we have continued to use the 'dime' package vs. passing teams, the 4-3 could emerge again vs. teams that try to load up on the run. Our safeties are really playing well right now and we will have Riccardo Stewart back for the Oregon game, as well.

Offensively, we struggled to say the least. Part of the credit goes to the Oregon State defense. They did some good things, but we missed several opportunities to score early in the game, and again in the third quarter. In all of your questions this week, there were several regarding the play selection and decision making of the play caller. Don't forget, that guy is me! I do read all of the e-mails, but will not be able to respond to questions about play calling or 20-20 decision-making because the team Doctor has told me that it is not good for my health!

We would love to get all of our receivers and all of our tight ends involved in the passing game. And it would be great if all three tailbacks could get over 100 yards per game. Derek Hagan had a couple of key catches vs. OSU. Skyler Fulton was outstanding vs. UNC and Daryl Lightfoot came up big vs. Stanford. Our tailbacks are the healthiest they have been in three weeks. All three guys have different running styles, and we want them to use their individual strengths to our advantage whenever possible. Also, these three guys play on most of our special teams; so when they are not 100%, it takes a lot away from our overall performance.

Anyone who has ever played golf should appreciate what Mike Barth is going through. I have plenty of confidence in Mike and expect him to get through this down period and kick a couple of game winners before the season ends. Mike is really in tune with his mechanics and, along with Coach Osborne, is working to regain his earlier form. Along those lines, Greg Pieratt (kickoff), Tim Parker (punter), and Jay Breckenridge (long snapper) are all playing very well for us right now. That is one of the things I like about this team. We have several players contributing to our success that do so under the radar of the main media exposure. These players are doing some of the little things that are not always noticed, but contribute to winning teams.

Two more quick questions:

Scout team stars: We have several guys doing a great job that will help us by next season. The two that have jumped out early are Terry Richardson (WR) and Jordan Hill (LB). These two have been multiple winners for the 'Scout Team Player of the Week' awards.

Half-time procedure: Half-time lasts 20 minutes. We meet as offensive and defensive coaching staffs for four to five minutes to make our adjustments and make sure we are all on the same page. Next, the offensive coaches meet with their individual position players, while the defense meets as an entire unit. This lasts for eight to 10 minutes. The players also have a chance to get off their feet, use the restroom and take in some fluids. The defensive players meet with their position coaches for two to three minutes, then I talk to the entire team for maybe 30 seconds before heading back to the field. All in all, I think 20 minutes is just about right.

Thanks for all of the interest and support.


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