Football adamant to win at UCLA for families

FAMILY MAN: ASU redshirt senior offensive linemen Garth Gerhart blocks off a Colorado pass rusher during the Sun Devils’ 48-18 victory over the Buffaloes. California-based players like Gerhart are expecting many of their friends and families to be in attendance at Saturday’s game at UCLA. (Photo by Lisa Bartoli)

The ASU football team knows what’s at stake.

The Sun Devils travel to Pasadena this weekend for a bout against conference rival UCLA at the Rose Bowl.

It will be a homecoming of sorts for several members of the team who hail from California, yet the Sun Devils are adamant that this week’s trip is strictly business.

“I think it can be a distraction if you let it be,” coach Dennis Erickson said. “We won’t let it be because we’re not going down there in time for it to be a distraction. We understand what’s at stake.”

Senior center Garth Gerhart is just one of the Sun Devils who has family in California, and he is expecting around 20 or more family and friends to be in attendance on Saturday. As a senior, he hopes his team can finally claim a win in the Golden State.

“It’s big,” Gerhart said. “I don’t remember the last time we won a game in California. We lost to UCLA two years ago, lost to SC last year. So it’s good. There’s lot of California guys on this team and we’re going to have a win for our families.”

 

Ozier cherishes first touchdown catch

To some, ASU’s 48-14 win over struggling Colorado last week will be a game that gets overlooked or even disregarded after the season is over.

But Kevin Ozier will never forget that particular Saturday. With 1:55 left in the first quarter, junior quarterback Brock Osweiler connected with Ozier for a 33-yard touchdown pass.

The touchdown catch was the first of the sophomore receiver’s career.

“It was a great play,” Ozier said. “Brock checked the coverage and he saw me on the seam route. I just knew I was going to score. I just knew he was going to throw me the ball and I made the play.”

Ozier has seen limited playing time in 2011 after spending the previous two seasons as a member of the scout team.

His first touchdown is something he won’t soon forget.

“I’m never going to forget it,” Ozier said. “It’s my first touchdown at ASU. It was great. I felt happy looking in the stands and everyone was screaming. I saw my mom. I was happy.”

 

Marshall credits offensive line for his success

Junior running back Cameron Marshall posted yet another strong performance in the win over the Buffaloes. He ran for 114 yards on 15 carries and powered into the end zone for three touchdowns.

It marked the fourth 100-yard rushing game of his career and third career three-touchdown contest.

Despite the impressive stats, he knows it’s not all about him. Marshall appreciates the offensive line and the work they do to help him run.

“They’re crucial,” Marshall said. “The guys that block for me up front, without them I can’t do anything. When they have days like they did on Saturday it’s hard to stop us.”

While Marshall is the player breaking for long runs and driving into the end zone, he knows the offensive lineman are equally important behind the scenes.

“They’re in the trenches grinding every play,” Marshall said. “They do all the tough work that no one really notices except us. They obviously don’t get to score touchdowns and stuff, but they’re every bit as important to all of us. We know how hard they work.”

 

Reach the reporter at greg.dillard@asu.edu
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