Calm, cool, collect: Edwards ready to move on to Washington
Sep 17, 2018, 5:15 PM
(Photo by Justin Parham/Cronkite News)
TEMPE, Ariz. – Herm Edwards entered the press room calmly, unfazed by his team’s road loss to San Diego State last Saturday and with an eye toward Arizona’s State’s conference opener against No. 10 Washington.
“We had a chance to win a road game and we didn’t get it done, against a good football team,” Edwards said during a press conference Monday.
Saturday’s loss was Arizona State’s first during the Edwards era and figures to provide some lessons to be carried over to Saturday’s matchup against Washington.
“They’ve been in the top-10. It’s not by accident, they’re a good football team,” Edwards said.
“Their defense, it’s outstanding, one of the better defenses in college football in my opinion. What they do schematically, how they built it, they do a nice job with their secondary. They’re very talented.”
While ASU struggled to establish its run game against San Diego State, the Aztecs had no problem running the ball against the Sun Devils, logging 311 rushing yards on 58 attempts.
“We weren’t very good against the run,” Edwards said, “due to a lot of alignment errors and basically missing some tackles allowed them big plays.”
Arizona State struggled to get its offense going in the second half against San Diego State before rallying late in the fourth quarter to make it a close game after a N’Keal Harry touchdown catch cut the Aztecs lead to seven.
“We were kind of lethargic after the halftime and couldn’t find our way,” Edwards said. “We had three possessions and all of them were three-and-out.”
Arizona State’s offense found its rhythm too late as San Diego State’s 14-point second-half lead ultimately proved to be too much for the Sun Devils to overcome.
“They got us into their game,” Edwards said. “It was ugly. It was an ugly game.”
Edwards expects an electric atmosphere from the crowd in Washington and talked about having his team practice in the Verde Dickey Dome, with the sound controlled, to emulate the anticipated stadium noise.
“When you go on the road, you have to bring your own energy,” Edwards said.
“These are the type of venues you want to play in, with this excitement and all that stuff,” Edwards said. “It’s going to be loud.”
Edwards made it clear that his team wouldn’t be practicing indoors to escape the heat, but instead “for crowd noise and crowd noise only.”
Last season, ASU defeated then-ranked No. 5 Washington and is hoping to open up conference play this year with another upset. However, the Sun Devils will need to play better away from Sun Devil Stadium than they did last week.
“We have to get better on the road and we have to get our running game going,” Edwards said.
“You win this game, all of a sudden you feel pretty good about getting your first win on the road against a Pac-12 opponent that’s considered, maybe, the one to win that division.”