Quotes From Andrew Walter's Monday Press Conference

Nov. 24, 2003

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Following is a recap of Arizona State junior quarterback Andrew Walter's Monday press conference.

Talk about your season and what this game means.
'We don't have any say on what's in the past and I don't let it affect me. I won't let it get me down and drag down my play from week to week. Everything that has happened has happened, but it's it the past and we don't need to dwell on it. Somebody said that this was the 'Basement Bowl' but there are alumni that have bragging rights and we have bragging rights and we're protecting our home field from a team that beat us here last time they came up. All those things to me are things that we have on the game. It's not a Rose Bowl but to us it should be just as big.'

Would a win in this game help as you go into the offseason?
'Absolutely. We need to go into the offseason with at least a decent taste in our mouth. The way the season has been, to get a win would be a good way to send off the seniors.'

How has your injury to your ankle progressed?
'The first two games after I hurt it, it was hard. But this is a point in time where everybody has bruises and pains. You just have to suck it up and keep playing and do as best as you can with what you have. It's not going to be a work out art out there necessarily, because everybody is banged up, but if you can be effective, that's all that matters.'

Do you still have to change up your play due to the ankle?
'Anymore I think I'm healthy enough where I don't have to change anything. At first, you don't get as deep of a drop and it was hard to push through on the ankle, so basically you have to use all arm. You learn to adapt and when you go into the game you don't think about it. In practice you might think about it, but in the game you just react.'

How severe was your injury and has your recuperation process been sufficient?
'It was a sprain over both sides of the ankle. You know, I sprained my ankle in the UNC game a little bit, but it was in one spot, it wasn't general, so it didn't affect me too much. I played on it in practice; I played on it in the game. I wasn't really surprised that it lasted as long as it did. I was pleased, and surprised, with how quickly it healed. The best course of action would have been to take a week off and get it healthy because then it would have been ahead of where it would have been if I wouldn't have played on it.

'But I always want to play, it's going to take somebody to take me out of the game. Granted, I was the one who said that I couldn't play in the UCLA game, but that was just apparent. I couldn't put any pressure on it. I've played with a lot of different injuries, so it's going to take somebody to pretty much pull me out of the game to get me out.'

Is this a revenge game for the last time that Arizona came to Tempe?
'Because of the way the last game went in Sun Devil Stadium against the Wildcats, it would be huge for us to go into the offseason on a good note and to get a win. It's not about revenge, it's about protecting our home turf, which is what it should be about every week. For the seniors who have put four and five years into the program, they deserve to go out on a good note.'

Talk about the seniors.
'I think they're a solid group of guys. Regis [Crawford], Tim Fa'aita, Tony Aguilar, Skyler [Fulton], Mike Karney, some of those guys, I've enjoyed playing with them and they've been great warriors. They come ready to go every week and they have my respect forever. They are guys that have put in their time and hopefully we're able to get them one more win.'

How have this season's ups and downs affected you?
'It builds character. Life's full of struggles. If you can pick yourself up after you get knocked down, that's what really counts in life, not that you got knocked down. It's a teacher of life. Unfortunately, you have to learn by going through the negatives and it matures you a little bit more. The next time around when you have positives, you can sort of temper it because you know where you came from. Last year for me, I came from being a backup to having success, but I didn't let it go to my head because I knew where I had come from.'

How would the game be if it meant more than bragging rights? Will Arizona be as hungry this year?
'It would be nice to have a game between these two teams where both teams are playing for a Pac-10 Championship, not the other way around. To have both teams have a great year and go into the last game, the Duel in the Desert, and have it mean something other than bragging rights [would be nice]. They understand the implications of the game and what we did to them last year. They remember, and they want to do that to us this year.'

Do you hope to be able to go to the deep ball more next season?
'I'd love to go vertical more. We've done more intermediate routes this year. The young guys have had experience in practice doing that this year, they've had a lot of practice going long. Going into the spring and the offseason they have a grasp on that so hopefully we'll have a downfield game.'

Would you consider the rivalry between ASU and UA a dirty one?
'Not a lot of love lost between the two teams, or the alumni or the fans. You hear about people in the business setting not doing business with each other because of affiliation with a school. On the streets, if an ASU fan sees an Arizona fan wearing their school colors, there may be some snide comments between them. It's definitely a heated rivalry and it makes it fun. I don't think it's a dirty rivalry, but people want bragging rights.'

What was your concept of rivalry games growing up in Colorado as the son of ASU grads?
'CU-CSU, the first game of the year at Mile-High, that's all they were worried about back home. I was always distant from the ASU-UA rivalry, but I would always catch the games. When I came here, that's when I first really got the taste of what it's like.'

How important is the offseason work with your receivers?
'It's pretty apparent the guys who try to get on the same page with me in the offseason. We have another year to work and get on the same page and I think that will do wonders for the guys who are coming back and the new recruits who are coming in.'

Does your style of crouching down behind the center put a lot of pressure on your ankle?
'When I do that, most of my weight is on my left foot anyway. We talked about going to a shotgun [to relieve the pressure] for about a half a second, but coach is not a huge fan of it and I don't necessarily like it a whole lot either.'

Is the preparation different for the UA game now as compared to when Bruce Snyder was the head coach at ASU?
'The emphasis and preparation is just as much or more now, but I think outwardly things were different before. Coach [Koetter] has been stressing the importance of sending the seniors out on a good note. He feels very strongly about this game and finishing on a good note. If it's not outwardly being shown, he definitely shows it to the players.'

Are there little things that players do to get extra motivation for this game?
'Last year, Al Williams had a picture in his locker where Al was on the ground and Bobby Wade was running in for a touchdown. That was motivation for the UA game that he would look at every day before practice. Players who have been around games between these two schools want a win more than anything. There is a different sense of motivation for this game than any other game of the year.'

Talk about your stats this year.
'I've talked to my dad, we're not huge stat guys, but he said that, at the worst, that this hasn't been a great season. He says that we haven't won as many games and I'm right there with him agreeing. I've heard Randy Johnson say that there is no satisfaction in strikeouts if you don't get the win and I agree with that. I said that last year I would give back all of those yards to get another win and I'd have to say that this year. I would do anything different to get more wins. Stats are there for people to talk about and dissect. For me, I get more satisfaction about getting the win.'

Critique your play this season.
'I feel that I've played pretty decently. People can look at the film and dissect it and there are back and forths either way. Overall I feel that I've given the team a chance to win week in and week out. By and large I feel that every week I've at least given us a chance to be in the game but the bottom line is wins and losses and we have more losses than wins.'

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