Erickson, ASU ready for ‘one of the best teams in the country’

Oct 11, 2011, 7:52 PM | Updated: 9:59 pm

No. 9 Oregon vs. No. 18 Arizona State.

As the Sun Devils travel to Eugene to take on the Ducks
they do so knowing how important this game is. Win, and
the rest of the country will really buy into what is
happening in Tempe. Lose and, well, they just won’t be
looked at the same way.

Needless to say, focus should not be an issue for the

“It’s a big game for us,” ASU head coach Dennis Erickson
told Arizona Sports 620’s Burns and Gambo. “Have a chance
to go up and play one of the best teams in the country on
the road, and our players know they’re going to have to
focus to have a chance to win that football game.”

Oregon enters the game ranked fifth in the country for
rushing yards and second in points for, running for 312.6
yards per game and scoring 50.2 points.

And even with Heisman Trophy candidate LaMichael James
possibly not playing, the Ducks are still one of the
fastest teams in the nation.

“They’re hard to deal with,” Erickson said. “They’re an
awfully good football team; offensively it’s hard to
emulate what they do, even though we do a lot of the same

“To emulate their speed is hard.”

The Sun Devils will have to try, though, and they head to
Autzen Stadium buoyed by the knowledge that they could
have beaten the Ducks last year had they not turned the
ball over seven times. ASU lost the game 42-31 but led 24-
14 late in the second quarter.

Also, they’re excited to play on national TV with ESPN
College GameDay in town.

“Our guys are excited about going up there and playing and
being on a national stage, which is exciting for all of
our players,” Erickson said. “That’s why they play college
football, that’s why they came here and finally they’re
going to get that opportunity.”

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