Sun Devils facing UCLA on Senior Day
Head Coach Dennis Erickson
"Obviously, [UCLA has] had an up-and-down season like us. In a lot of ways we are very similar. They are in a position where they have to win their next two games to go to a bowl game. They have a lot of talent and they are young in some areas, particularly defensively. They have done a good job of recruiting and are playing with some young players. They have some outstanding players like Rahim Moore, who we tried to recruit a few years ago. He's probably the best safety in the country. He is a heck of an athlete. Their offense is led by Johnathan Franklin. They run the football in the pistol. They have made a commitment to doing that. Their offensive front is very senior oriented. It's a football game that is big for both football teams. Having a week off, I would like to think we would come off the bye a little better than we did last time. Hopefully we are rested up. We practiced this morning because of the schedule this week. We normally give them Monday off because of classes. It's good that it's over with, that's a pretty good thing. I threatened the players that if they didn't practice hard we would do it everyday. Boy, they came out and practiced hard."
On Brock Osweiler:
"He has had reps with the first team all week. As soon as he got healthy with the back he has taken reps with the ones. Don't put anything into it. We just let him do some things to see if he's getting better. Steven [Threet] is still the starter and that is not going to change."
"Brock [Osweiler] may play, but that depends on how it goes. We will see how Steven Threet is playing. Right now there is no plan to put him in specifically."
"Brock [Osweiler] has looked good in practice. Ever since he got back from the injury he has gotten better and better all the time. You can see he is a lot healthier and is throwing the ball a lot more accurately. He is making better decisions because he is getting turns. He had a good week of practice during the bye week."
On last home game for senior class:
"We talked about that the other day. These are always difficult games for the seniors that are playing. If you look at Saia [Falahola] and [Gerald] Munns, [Jon] Hargis, Kerry Taylor, [Thomas] Weber and Max Tabach, they have all contributed. It's a good group. Not a very big group but one that has contributed ever since they have been here. It's a good group and we want them to go out the right way. It's important that we all play well and let the seniors go out well in their last game at home. That's huge for us."
On leadership of Jon Hargis:
"I could talk forever about it. You look back at his career and you can do it with a smile. The first year I was here he was a defensive tackle that played. He played quite a bit on a team that won ten games. We moved him to offense and he made that changed. We all know about the knee surgery and all that he has fought through. He is going to play in that football game on Saturday. He has earned that right. How much, I'm not sure but he certainly deserves to play. He is what Sun Devil football is about in my opinion."
On the development of Trevor Hankins:
"He has come a long way. He spent a lot of time becoming better in the off-season. He has punted extremely well for us and has made a difference in the field position and what has happened the last couple years. He has punted really well for us as well as being a good holder. He walked on and earned a scholarship and has done really well."
On Kerry Taylor's development:
"He has really developed. You look at it now and you almost kick yourself in the rear-end for not red-shirting him. At that time we didn't have much depth and he was a polished receiver coming out of high school. Immediately he was mature enough to help us. The development in the last year as well as what we are doing offensively has really helped Kerry [Taylor]. We move him around and he fits in the slot real well. He makes plays for us and he has had a great year. The improvement from last fall to this fall is unbelievable. I commend him for that. Because through the first three years he probably didn't have the career he wanted but he has worked hard. He has improved tremendously in blocking. He has made a 360-degree turnaround in how he plays the game. I am real proud of how he plays the game."
On UCLA's passing game:
"Their passing game, a lot of times, it is seven-man protection. They keep their tight end in and have two receivers. It's hard to get to them because of that. We have to create some blitzes and some of the ones we use can go up against seven-man protection. It's not always pass-blitzes. Because of what they do, which is primarily running, we have to create some blitzes in our package that is good against what they do in the run game. We will mix it up."
On Craig Bray:
"Craig is very smart and understands the game. He has been around a long time and he understands the system. He is not a guy that changes things a lot. He spends time on things and if he sees something he likes then he is going to add it. He is very demanding of his players and the defensive assistants. If you do something wrong, he is going to tell you how it is. He doesn't sugarcoat things. Just when you think something is good, it is not. He loves the game and has been very good for this program. He is a great motivator and we have played good defense for the most part for the four years that we have been here."
"There are times where he is satisfied, but not very often. Like all of us. That is kind of how we were raised in this business and we have been together for a long time. He expects a great performance every week. There can be areas where we play extremely well and areas where we don't play real well. Obviously, he is in charge of the whole thing. He is satisfied at times, but I have seen him unsatisfied more than satisfied. That's how I like him and that's when he is at his best. The players know what the expectations are and they are very high."