Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Weekly Press Conference

Oct. 19, 2009

Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson

On creative play calling against Washington:

'You look at everything that you're doing from week to week and from game to game. You look at your tendencies. Chris Peterson makes out every week our tendencies offensively, he gives me those on Monday and I study them and look at them to try and get away from tendencies that we have. The bottom line is that you've got to do what you do best. We opened up a little bit. The reverse pass, I guess is opening it up, although it didn't really work, but it did work. You watch yourself play and see what people are doing to you, and you watch them play and see what they are doing and then you try to develop a plan, but obviously we need to get some misdirection that's why we're running a lot more reverses right now, because it just slows things down for us a little bit and you'll see some different formations, some different personnel groups. We try to do the same things, it's too hard to change everything, you're just trying to develop and run the same plays out of different formations that you're involved in, but I would say on play calling in the first half we did, we opened it up a bit more to try and slow them down.'

On Freshman Running Back Jamal Miles:

'To me he is a guy that's a game breaker. He's got unusual speed and shiftiness. The two catches that he got were tackles, on both of them. We've got to continue to get him involved in our offense. I made a decision last week to pull him out of redshirt. Looking at where we are at, what we're trying to develop and to try and get a little more explosiveness and big plays for our offense. From watching him in fall camp and then watching him on the scout team...he had been doing a lot of things against our defense at running back so I decided that he could help us in the last seven games to make some plays. The two plays he made in that game were huge.'

On how he adjusted defensively to Washington's WR Devin Aguilar:

'The one the he caught, we just blew coverage for the touchdown and then the other ones he beat us inside once and then [Washington Quarterback] Jake [Locker] scrambled a couple of times. I don't know that it's any one thing. We blew the coverage on the one [pass], just flat blew it, but other than that, they make plays. They are on scholarship too, so they make plays too.'

On if Saturday's win can be considered a turning point in the season:

'I don't know about that. It was just a good win for us. We needed to get a win, I don't know that it's anything defining right now. I think we're getting better in all aspects on our football team right now, on defense, special teams and there has been a great deal of improvement on our offensive front, which is really encouraging. We are way ahead of where we were a year ago and that's the process we are trying to make around here. I feel that as good as we have been playing defensively we still haven't played like we're capable. We've given up big plays and really that has hurt us more than anything. To answer your question we're just making improvements. I don't know that it's a defining moment or anything, we're just trying to make progress every week and I see that. I see us getting better every week.'

On Stanford:

'No one has consistently moved it against us but the team were playing this week is by far the most physical team that we've faced. Their offensive front is really good and their running back is good and their Quarterback Andrew Luck is special and they've been scoring points against everyone, so we've got our work cut out for us; this is by far the biggest test that we've had.'

On if Saturday's win has helped Danny Sullivan relax:

'I think he was relaxed this week. I never saw that he wasn't during the week. Obviously he is very determined to prove that he can play Quarterback at Arizona State and in the Pac-10 and he's proved that. He'll continue to get better and obviously confidence is a factor in everything that you do--it's like shooting free throws, when you're hot, you're hot. The biggest thing is that he didn't make mistakes. In talking about Danny, he's throwing the ball really well all year, other than against Washington State where he had those turnovers, but he knows what's going on, he plays within himself and he's making plays for us so I think it will give him confidence, there is no question about that.'

On what challenges Stanford represents:

'They have a physical left front. That's what coach Harbaugh preaches. They run the power play every way you can possibly run it. [Toby] Gerheart--he's a stud. He is 240 lbs that can run fast, break tackles, so he creates all kinds of problems. They've got a pair of three tight ends that are involved in their running game and that really make a big difference too. And what they do, and they do it as well as anybody I've seen, is they'll run it, they run it, they run it, they set up the play pass and they get some big plays doing that. They are really a good team. He has done a great job there in three years. The key to them is their offensive front.'

On the mood of the team this week:

'When you win it's always a lot more fun. You get up Sunday morning and it's a little bit different attitude. The biggest thing is winning a game like that, even though it wasn't pretty, other than the last play, there were a lot of good things in it. It gives you confidence, that you can play with anybody and we feel like we can do that. They believe in themselves and like I said we'll just keep getting better and better.'

On the health of the team:

'Dimitri [Nance] hurt his knee a little bit and so we'll see how that is, but I don't see that being a problem. I think we'll get [Matt] Hustad back, so that will help. [Garth] Gearhart I have no idea where he's at, I think he is questionable. [Thomas] Weber will be a lot better than he was [on Saturday]. He missed some kicks to the right, and as you look at it, it was more kind of guarded, he didn't really hurt it, so I look for him to be a lot better. Zach [Schlink] is closer. Again, his knees are something you check every week and I don't see him playing this week at all. There is a chance that Omar [Bolden] will play. He is right in the iffy area, so we will see where is at. He had a pretty sever MCL strain, but he has a chance, we'll see as the week goes on.'

On Freshman Running Back Cameron Marshall:

'Cameron is getting better all the time. He's 18 years old, he might not even be 18, but he's got a lot of God-given skill: he's big and he's fast and now he's just getting the feel of what we're doing offensively and the raids that we ask him to make. He's learning the offense, he is pass protection a heck of a lot better than he has. He's got a great future. He made that long one and that is the longest run we've had in awhile around here so that was good to see, but he has a great upside to him, but he's playing now.'

On reducing penalties from the first to second half:

'I mentioned it very lightly (laughs). But we are just shooting ourselves in the foot; it's ridiculous. It's ridiculous to put yourself in that position. When you're playing as well as we were playing and we have that field position, inside the 10 yard line or the 15 or whatever it was, and we get penalties all the way down the field and some third down penalties, they were just crucial. We just can't have that. Some of them were legitimate, some of them I just can't find, but you can't have that and obviously it could have cost us the game, there is no doubt about it.'

On Stanford's defense:

'They've been up and down defensively. They've played good at times. They've got talent. They have a lot of those same guys back and they are so much more athletic now on defense then they've been. Their guys have been around and played really well. I know the Arizona game, as far as yardage and points, was kinda out of kill a little bit because of how the game went and they got beat a couple of time on blitz with the run. They have a good scheme. Ron Wynn who is their Defensive Coordinator was a coach for me at San Francisco and they do a good a job. It will be tough and Ron will always have something different to look out for.'

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