Sutton expects to be fully healthy vs. USC
Junior defensive tackle Will Sutton is back to the “same ol,’ same ol.’”
Sutton hasn’t had a setback this week on his knee and thinks he’ll be 100 percent ready for Saturday’s contest at USC.
“I hate missing (time),” Sutton said in a soft-spoken voice. “Being back out here, I love it.”
Sutton made his impact felt on Oregon State’s first drive. He consistently brought pressure up the middle and had a big impact on Beavers junior quarterback Cody Vaz’s fumble, which led to a defensive touchdown.
“The first play I made in the Oregon State game, everyone was bouncing on their toes,” Sutton said. “It just didn’t fall our way.”
Sutton said “it hurt” he had to miss ASU’s game against UCLA, but he wasn’t even close to 50 percent. Although he didn’t play, he was on the sidelines waving a towel hoping to keep the team spirit up during the game.
“I didn’t want to go out there and damage anything else,” Sutton said. “The best thing I could’ve done is go out there and cheer on my teammates and keep guys up.
“From what everybody says, I’m a big factor on this team. A lot of guys look up to me, and I look up to a lot of guys as well.”
Sutton was scared after he injured his knee on the second play against Oregon on Oct. 18. He said he didn’t go to sleep until at least 7 a.m. the next morning. Sutton was relieved when it was just a bruise.
“I didn’t know what the MRI was going to say,” Sutton said. “But when I got it back, it was a whole load off my shoulders.”
While the Corona, Calif. native missed his first shot against a school from southern California, he’ll travel back home to face USC at Memorial Coliseum.
Although he did play against senior quarterback Matt Barkley in high school, Sutton said there’s no special meaning to this game. He knows Barkley is a talented quarterback and the defense will need to stop him, but Sutton wants to stop ASU’s three-game losing streak.
“We’ll just keep working 100 percent and do our jobs,” Sutton said. “We can’t make these mental errors like we’ve been doing and we’ll be all right.
“I just want to get these W’s. I don’t care about my stats. I just want W’s. I don’t like losing.”
Graham feels players buying in
Coach Todd Graham said there’s a stat that tells him his players are buying in – penalties.
ASU has gone from one of the most penalized teams last season to one of the least. The Sun Devils are No. 7 in the nation in fewest penalties per game.
“They’re trying to do what we’re asking them to do,” Graham said. “Obviously we got to make plays and all type of stuff, but it really says a lot about their character. That’s how you win. You develop teams with great character.”
USC, on the other hand, is the most penalized team in the country. Graham wants to take advantage of that like he did against UCLA, but ASU had a holding penalty that negated a touchdown and a roughing passer penalty, which led to an Oregon State field goal.
“We got to have zero penalties is what we’re after instead of two or three,” Graham said.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com