Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Sunday Media Conference Call

Oct. 28, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

On the health of Rudy Carpenter:

'I'm not concerned.  He sprained his thumb.  It wasn't from a hit, it was when our running back went the wrong direction on a play.  He's got a little swelling in his throwing thumb, but he should be ready to practice on Tuesday.'


More about Carpenter:

'He's a tough guy, very competitive guy.  All quarterbacks in college football are going to get hit.  He gets hit and gets back up.  That's the nature of the position.  He's a tough guy and a very competitive guy.'


On Oregon QB Dennis Dixon:

'I don't think anybody has defended him.  We just have to try to control him.  He makes so many plays.  He's hard to control because of his ability to run.  If you look, throughout the country, for a guy that should be considered for the Heisman Trophy, it would be him.'


On his feelings on the rankings:

'Not any different than the whole year.  We're just going to take it one at a time.  We're excited about where we're at.  We're facing one of the better football teams in the country this week on the road.  It's nice that our program is being recognized, but as far as our football team is concerned, it really makes no difference.'


On coming back from deficits in second half:

'I don't know.  It's not planned like that.  We'd like to come out and play better early.  I will say that we do have resiliency in the second half.  We've been able to continue to run the football.  We're a pretty good running team.  We catch up and we just pound the football.  In the second half, we've just been able to get turnovers and we've been able to run it.'


On coming out with the passing game on the first drive of the third quarter:

'We felt that we had some things play action pass-wise, so we made a decision at halftime to just come out and throw play pass, which will again open things up in the running game.'


On the emotion after this win:

'The emotional high is over when we meet here in about 15 minutes.  It was a great win for us, but once we look at the tape, it's over and done with.  We don't have time to celebrate too much.  Our guys will look at the tape, and just get ready to go next week.'


On how the BCS standings make things different from his past national title teams:

'It's quite different.  When I was at Miami, we just wondered where you're going to end up in the polls.  The polls were a heck of a lot more important.  I don't know that the national championship, per se, was quite as important in those days.'


On whether he is worried they could end up like Auburn in 2004:

'We just hope we can go up to Eugene and win a game up there.  That's not even in our thoughts.'


On the biggest surprises from this team:

'I don't know that anybody anticipates being 8-0.  We've gotten better.  You either get better or you get worse, and we've gotten better.  Probably the biggest surprise is how well we are playing on defense.'


On the play of the secondary against Cal:

'I thought we played well.  We gave up a couple throws.  The touchdown in the corner of the end zone, it was a good throw and catch.  But we kept things in front of us.  We just wanted to keep the big plays in check, and we were able to do that in the second half.  I was happy with how they played.  We're really going to have ourselves a test this week, but I thought last night, they played pretty well.'


On the running game last night:

'That's as well as our offensive front has played.  They're playing together, getting off the football last night better than they have all year.'


On how being able to using two tight ends helps the running game:

'It helps.  Brady Conrad has been playing real well for us, and to have Brent [Miller] in there really helps us in the running game, no question about it.'


On how this team compares to his first team at Miami:

'It's quite different.  There was so much talent there.  I just had to get it lined up correctly.  Here it's different.  It's just a game-by-game analysis of where we're at.'


On the play of Dimitri Nance and Keegan Herring:

'They give you a combination.  They're two different type runners.  You miss Ryan [Torain], there's no question about that.  He's a little bit more physical than both of them.  But with the combination of those two, last night we played pretty well.'


On staying with the base defense mostly against Cal:

'We stayed pretty base.  We changed some things at halftime.  But we didn't want to put our guys on islands with those receivers.  We were able to get some pressure on Longshore, particularly in the second half, with four or five rushers.'


On Oregon's Autzen Stadium:

'Every time I've been in there I haven't had a lot of fun.  It's a hard place to play.'


On how he thinks his team will respond to the next few weeks:

'I don't expect them to respond any different.  We've been like that all year.  We're just quietly getting better all the time.  I think they'll go up and play as hard as they can in Eugene, but I really don't expect anything different with the stakes going up.  It's a group that hasn't been there, but they're having fun.'


On any recruiting benefits from this 8-0 start:

'It won't hurt.  How much it helps, I don't know.  But it sure won't hurt us.  Anytime your name is out there and you get some national recognition, it helps you.'


On how the ASU sellout crowd compared to others he has seen:

'It's probably as awesome of a crowd as I've been around.  It was just electric in the air.  It was one of the better crowds I've been around in my career.'


On the talent he inherited coming in to ASU:

'We've got talent here.  Dirk Koetter did a nice job recruiting players and getting guys in this program.   There are good football players who believe they can win.'


On the benefits of the schedule this season:

'Anytime you can have some success early, you get some confidence and you have a chance to be successful.'


On the keys against Oregon:

'We've just got to try to slow them down a little bit.  They are so explosive offensively.  We just have to try to control them a little bit.'


On celebrating the win with the crowd last night:

'You get caught up in the moment.  It was a big game for us because it was a full house.  It was an emotional football game for us, and I got caught up in the emotion.  Sometimes you like to do that.'

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