Quotes From Dennis Erickson's Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 2, 2009

Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson

On the health of ASU's Wide Receivers:

'Yeah I think we're going to be okay. Kerry Taylor I believe will be back; that's what the trainer reported this morning. Jarrell [Holman] should be ready to go. T.J. Simpson will be out for probably a month or so, it's one of those high ankle sprains; I've never been able to figure out what they are but it usually keeps you out for a while. We'll have Kyle [Williams] and Chris [McGaha] and Kerry and possibly Jarrell and obviously Jamal Miles who is getting better all the time, so we'll be fine.'

On if he is going to bring up Wide Receiver J.J. Holliday:

'Not this late in the season. We're into the final third of the season and I wouldn't want to wreck his redshirt year because of that. If we didn't have any players I would, but we have guys, so we're alright.'

On what stands out about Saturday's loss:

'Not [a lot], other than we've lost two football games at the end by a field goal. It's disheartening. Our team, obviously we were down a little bit yesterday like you should be when you fight like that and lose a football game, but again, you can't spend time worrying about it, you've got to get ready for USC. We played with great effort and we've played with great effort most of the year. Defensively we just gave up some things in the secondary. Our front seven played extremely well, but we just gave up some things in the secondary that were costly to us. I thought our offensive front has really done some nice things protection-wise; didn't run the football like we wanted too, but we threw it okay and I thought our special teams was as good an effort as we've had all year, in all areas of our special teams, coverage and so forth. It's just disappointing. When you lose a game you'd almost rather lose a game bad[ly] than lose one like that. It's just a tough feeling that we're dealing with. We know we're a pretty good football team, we've just got to get over that hump. We've got to win a game like that, which we did against Washington, but we've got to win more than one. Again, we're disappointed, but shoot, we have another chance this week.'

On if he'll be using more tight ends:

'We could. In our plan we were doing that last night and today we're trying to finalize what we're going to do. We may do some different things depending. We used them quite a bit against Cal, fairly successfully. Our front is blocking the run pretty well right now so we've got to find a way to take advantage of that and being a little bit more involved in Tight Ends can do that for us.'

On what has contributed to ASU allowing fewer sacks this year:

'[It's] experience [on the line] and then we're just protecting better. We're a little older, a little wiser. We're playing better. A lot of our stuff is play action pass, we have some six man protection which keeps the tight end occasionally and then really, Danny [Sullivan] is getting rid of the football, he's not holding the football. When that [football] has to come out, he gets it out and that makes a huge difference. Our technique is better. We're still young but we're getting better all the time and giving our Quarterback some time, but like I said Danny is getting the ball out pretty quick and that's the key. You'll have serious problems this week against USC if you hold that thing at all.'

On defensive play:

'The thing that hurt us in a couple of situations is that [Cal Quarterback Kevin] Riley scrambled out of there and we dropped some coverage and some guys were wide open and you just can't have that happen. I felt pretty good about where we were at with our defense on the football field and that's kind of why we ran it, although we were running it pretty good at the end there, but we wanted to get the clock up a little bit, kick that thing down there and give our defense a chance to win the game and that's exactly what happened but unfortunately we didn't because we played really well defensively up until that point. We can do a number of different things but we decided we were going to play coverage and we blitzed a couple of times in there too, they picked it up and you have to give them credit, they executed pretty well in the end.

On Cornerback Deveron Carr:

'I thought he played very well. He played with no fear, he came out, he got up and bumped them. He's a heck of an athlete. The thing with Deveron is that he's never played corner...so it's taken him a little while to pick up the techniques, because athletically and speed wise he's got all that so we decided to play him on the corner when we recruited him and it's taken him a while but he's gotten better in the last month. You can just see a tremendous improvement. He's tough and so when Pierre got hurt we put him in. Coach Bray decided to put him in and we kept him in because he played pretty well, which is a pleasant surprise because [Cal] has some pretty good receivers and like I said he showed no fear.'

On how USC's loss to Oregon will shape their attitude against ASU:

'[They'll be] scary. Those things happen and they're still a great football team and a great program. A lot of teams have gone up to Oregon and had that happen and things just start rolling on you and it's tough, but that program isn't where it's at by not coming back and fighting like heck. They'll come in here and play their best game. [USC Head Coach] Pete [Carroll] will have them ready to go. They react pretty well when they get beat.'

On USC Quarterback Matt Barkley:

'He's a talent and one of the better young guys around. You take him and Andrew Luck and those two young guys are special and Matt is special. He's young and got a great arm, great release, he has tremendous composure. He's got an aura about him that all of the good quarterbacks have.'

On USC's defense:

'Taylor Mays is the best safety in football. He's very physical, big, fast. They've always had great speed; they run to the football. They've got a lot of young guys that are extremely talented and they haven't changed. They haven't changed what they do or how they do it. They attack. They are very aggressive and they are going to come after you with the six man rush, five man rush, bump you outside. It really hasn't changed.

On what Chris McGaha has meant to the ASU Football program:

'A lot, there is no question about it. He's been a leader on and off the football field. He plays hard all the time. He's mature. He's made a lot of big plays for us over the three years that I've been here. I can't say enough about him and I know he's disappointed like all of our seniors, and we're trying to get this thing going in the right direction. Chris is a good football player. He's a very deceptive player.'

On Running Back Cameron Marshall:

'Cameron played very well and unless Dimitri [Nance] is full speed he will start. Dimitri went one series and just couldn't go anymore and Cameron came in when he had his opportunity. It's a matter of opportunities and what you do with opportunities, when you're a young player like that. [Cameron] came in and he's a hard runner, he's physical, he's got good speed and protected very well. Right now I've got to see how Dimitiri is. He hasn't done anything not to be the starter, but Cameron is getting better and better all the time, so he'll play.'

On the final four game stretch of the season:

'[It will be] hard. It's a hard 12-game stretch, particularly the last part of the season, starting with Stanford and Cal and now we've got SC coming in and then we go to Oregon and UCLA and Arizona; it doesn't get much tougher. We know that and we've just got to look at it one game at a time. It's an old cliché but it's true. We're playing better we've just got to pull [a win] out here.'

On how Pat Tillman still impacts the program:

'[He] has so much impact; probably more impact than anyone or anything. He's there in the locker room. Our players, if they know about anybody, they know about Pat Tillman and his legacy. Young kids sometimes don't realize that, but they do with Pat. He's inside of our locker room, outside of our locker room, in his tunnel. So they are very aware of what he's done and what he did for our country. Our players are very aware of him and when it gets to [Veteran's Day], we'll talk about him.'

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