Golden Nuggets: ASU's Dennis Erickson and Brock Osweiler Preview the Cal Game

This week we check in with ASU coach Dennis Erickson, whose team is in a tailspin after starting the season 5-1.  In recent weeks they have been unable to stop any opposing quarterbacks and have surrendered an astounding 9.6 yards per pass attempt (the median in national rankings is around 7).  Will Tedford and company end the Erickson era at ASU or will the Bears revitalize another coach who was on life support?

ON THE DEFENSE’S STRUGGLES:
"We haven’t changed anything philosophically in what we do. That’s what’s bothered me a little bit is we haven’t changed anything. Again like I mentioned last week and the week before, they made big gains in the passing game against us. In this game, we tackled in two situations it was ridiculous how many tackles we missed. We practice tackling every day. We practice that every day. Not focus, but running to the football, getting a lot more people to the football. The first touchdown that they scored the guy broke three tackles and scored a touchdown. It could have been a four yard hitch. Obviously we just keep practicing and do the things that we do, but we just don’t make the plays that we did before."
...

ON THE TEAM’S ATTITUDE FOLLOWING THE [31-27 loss to Arizona]:
"(They were) somber. That was the most difficult loss since I’ve been here, without a question. When you put a lot of energy into this program like they have, particularly those seniors that have been there for a long time. They’re frustrated like they should be, like we all should be."

ON CAL:
"You look at Cal and they probably have as good of talent as anybody in our league on both sides of the football. You look at them defensively and they’re extremely physical in their front seven. They’ve had great recruiting classes the last two or three years. They can dominate. They’re big up front offensively. They run the football, their offensive line is good. Their quarterback (Zach) Maynard is playing a lot better. He played extremely well against Stanford after watching that game. They’re a team I’m sure that is pretty disappointed with where they’re at also."

In addition to mentioning Senior Night as motivation, Brock Osweiler says the team wants to redeem themselves following last year's 50-17 blowout loss in Berkeley.

ON LAST YEAR’S CAL GAME AS MOTIVATION FOR FRIDAY NIGHT:
"As a competitor, you never want to go out and lose in the fashion that we did last year at Cal. It was embarrassing, to be real. We do have a lot of motivation in turning that loss around this football season and making things right with Cal." 

After the jump ASU opens as 5.5-point favorites, Michael Calvin's knee shows no structural damage, and the men's basketball team routs the Dawgs.

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