Football moves on, focuses on next game at WSU

ANKLE TEST: ASU junior running back Cameron Marshall runs out from the backfield during the Sun Devils’ 29-28 loss to UCLA on Saturday. Marshall did not practice on Tuesday due to an ankle injury, but should be fine coming into ASU’s next game against Washington State. (Photo by Beth Easterbrook)

Sometimes it just takes time.

The sting and regret from a disheartening loss often don’t fade quickly.

The ASU football team lost to UCLA at the Rose Bowl five days ago. It was a lackluster performance from a team that once controlled its own destiny.

With last Saturday’s defeat in their rearview mirror, the Sun Devils (6-3, 4-2 Pac-12) are extremely eager to return to game action.

“We’ve got another opportunity on Saturday,” said senior wide receiver Aaron Pflugrad. “So get back out there and just do what we need to do because that one stung. We get another chance to go out there and play football. We got to take advantage of it.”

ASU faces another road game this week when it travels to Pullman, Wash. to play Washington State. It’s a chance to right the ship for the Sun Devils, who are now embroiled in a battle for the Pac-12 South crown.

“They’re a really good football team,” Pflugrad said. “We watched their game against UCLA and they’re actually pretty similar to them and played them really close. It’s going to be a tough game up there in the cold, so we got to get ready to go.”

 

Marshall misses Tuesday’s practice

 

Junior running back Cameron Marshall missed Tuesday’s practice as a precaution. He’s been nursing an ankle injury in recent weeks.

“He dinged his ankle up just a little bit,” coach Dennis Erickson said. “He could’ve went, but we just decided to keep him out. We need him on Saturday, not on Tuesday. He’s a smart kid. He’ll probably go tomorrow.”

Marshall is coming off a standout performance against the Bruins. He carved the UCLA defense for a career-high 168 yards on 27 carries. It marked his second straight 100-yard game and the fifth of his career. Marshall also tacked on a touchdown run for the 24th touchdown of his career.

With Marshall’s large role in the offense, his health is crucial for ASU as it prepares for WSU.

“Cameron, I could go on and on about him,” junior quarterback Brock Osweiler said. “He’s a tremendous teammate, especially in the past game, too. He knows the protection just as well as anybody. He understands what he’s supposed to do and he gets his job done. So, to have Cameron healthy is a huge asset for this football team.”

 

Erickson comments on Penn State debacle

While ASU practiced on Tuesday afternoon in Tempe, Penn State football was in shambles across the country in College Station, Penn.

The child molestation scandal surrounding former Nittany Lions defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has exploded. PSU coach Joe Paterno is also entangled in the controversy over his actions and knowledge of Sandusky’s behavior.

Erickson was asked about the disaster at Penn State and said that he’s never run into Sandusky.

“No, but I know Joe very well as a friend,” Erickson said. “I don’t know anything about it, obviously just what I read and hear.”

 

Reach the reporter at greg.dillard@asu.edu

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