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October 6, 2009

Erickson sticking with Sullivan against Cougars

To say senior quarterback Danny Sullivan had a rough Saturday would be an understatement. After being roughed up by Oregon State's defense and booed by the Sun Devil faithful, Sullivan abruptly ended his post-game media session when emotions seemed to almost get the best of him.

Sullivan can put at least one of his worries aside for now as he will remain Arizona State's starting quarterback for Saturday's game against Washington State.

"I have decided Danny will be the starter," coach Dennis Erickson said. "He did nothing in that game that would take away from him being the starter. He threw [the ball] pretty successfully and he managed the game pretty well."

While his starting job is safe for Saturday, Sullivan perhaps has less room for error, with true freshman Brock Osweiler waiting in the wings.

Against Oregon State, the ASU student section was ready to see the 6-foot-8 Osweiler make his Pac-10 debut, as the chant of "We want Brock" echoed through Sun Devil Stadium.

"Does [Sullivan starting] mean Brock won't play? No I haven't decided that yet," Erickson said. "I won't make that decision 'till the end of the week, whether I will give him a series or two early in the game."

After Saturday's disappointing start to the Pac-10 schedule, Erickson wasn't pointing fingers at individuals but blamed the team as a whole. He told reporters Monday that he knows his team is capable of playing much better then what they witnessed Saturday.

After containing Georgia's explosive offense to 20 points and losing in the last seconds to one of the top teams in the SEC, ASU was aware that they had a great opportunity to compete in the Pac-10. Coming into last Saturday's game the Pac-10 was seemingly up for grabs and a win for the Sun Devils would have been a perfect way to start the conference schedule.

Now 0-1 in conference play, the Sun Devils look to turn around their misfortunes Saturday in Pullman, Wash.

"You get twelve opportunities a year and you need to take advantage of those opportunities," Erickson said. "We are disappointed but it's over with now and we have eight football games left. It hurt and still hurts but we can't sit around and worry about it. The players have to make corrections obviously and try to not let this happen again."

The Washington State Cougars currently hold a 1-4 record and sit 0-3 in conference play, averaging just 8.3 points per game against Pac-10 teams. On the offensive side the Cougars return a good majority of their starters from last season, while their defense had just four starters returning from a year ago.

Monday Erickson said he believed his team would bounce back from the rough start to Pac-10 play.

"We will rebound," Erickson said. "We have too much leadership and character on this team to not rebound. For us right now we just have to go play. It is not about who we play. We just have to take care of what we need to do and win that football game."

Injury Update

According to Erickson, no one was injured for ASU in last Saturday's contest against the Beavers and the Sun Devils should see some of their regular starters return for this week's game.

Offensive lineman Garth Gerhart will play this week. Erickson said Gerhart was probably ready to play last week however he chose to stick with Brent Good just to be sure with Gerhart.

Guard Zach Schlink is considered doubtful while fellow guard Matt Hustad is at least 1-2 weeks away from suiting back up.

Safety Ryan McFoy will play this week after suffering a foot sprain against Georgia.


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