Bell Perseveres

Bell Perseveres

Football is a game of resolve. Not all plays or games or even seasons will turn out the way you want them to, and it's easy sometimes to despair whether you're a fan, a player, or a coach. The difference between those who ultimately succeed versus ones who don't is learning to fight through adversity and find the path to success.

After a great spring and fall camp, many wondered why junior wide-out George Bell didn't have a catch through the first two games of his Sun Devil career, but to his credit he kept his nose to the grind, doing all the little things a receiver needs to do when he isn't catching passes and caught his first three balls for 31 yards in the Sun Devils 20-19 loss versus the Wisconsin Badgers.

"It feels good (catching the first pass)," Bell mentioned, "but the only messed up thing is that I had a drop during the same drive, so it was a bitter-sweet thing, but I'm just going to work off of it and get better this next week. Everybody drops balls, but I didn't let it affect me negatively, I just went out and kept playing, but it felt good to get that first grab."

That drop came in the end zone while quarterback Steven Threet was rolling to his right and Bell was finding a spot for his quarterback to get him the ball. Bell was met with a hit as the ball arrived, but admits he lost sight of the ball through the traffic before the hit even arrived. .

The drop was just another moment Bell had to fight through and on the very next play Bell and Threet hooked up for what appeared to be a touchdown, but the officials ruled Bell out of bounds and he was robbed of what would've been his first career touchdown as a Sun Devil.

"We saw me dragging my left toe for a while," Bell noticed on film. "My right foot was still in the air, I caught the ball and I was dragging my left foot and my right foot landed out of bounds, but it happens. The first ball I had should've been caught before that play so there really is no excuse for us to not have that touchdown. .

"You can't leave everything on the refs, you still have to go out and play as a team and play to get the win. We can't rely on the refs anywhere to give us any leeway because there are going to call the game the way they are going to call the game."

No doubt affecting any official in any sport is the home crowd, and Camp Randall didn't disappoint. .

"Madison was like 85 (thousand) and it was crazy to look in their stands and see no empty seats," Bell said. "And the biggest thing that really helped us is that there were a lot of Devil fans out there, and I mean a lot of Devil fans. In patches you would see a sea of gold within the red so that helped us too to know that we have fans that want to travel to come watch us play and see us get that win so we came out more motivated."

While the Sun Devils exceeded many expectations in Madison, Bell and company won't be satisfied with a moral victory.

"We expected more than that," Bell exclaimed. "We expected to go in there and beat Wisconsin to be god honest with you. We could've done it even with the mistakes we had and everything that went on. We were still in the game and we just need to finish.

"That's what it comes down to is really finishing and performing the way we're supposed to, but we knew we could go in and beat the number 11 team so now we're coming with the same mentality against Oregon. They are coming here and we're going to beat the number five team in the nation so that's added fuel to the fire and made us that much more hungry."

The no. 5 Ducks present no easy feat as they lead the Pac-10 in scoring and total offense through their first three games, but this Sun Devil team is better prepared for the challenge after Wisconsin.

"They bring a lot of pressure," Bell said of Oregon's defense, "and we need to get the ball out quick to beat the pressure and wherever they're blitzing from we're just going to try to get in that area and out run them, out hustle them, out physical them.

"They are a good team, but they're not as physical as the team we just played and we were physical with Wisconsin, so if we just come out with that same mentality like we're going to play a Big-10 team or a conference where they want to pound the ball and the defense want to run around and hit then we'll be good."

Now Bell gears up for his first Pac-10 contest and admits there is more fuel to the fire than some think.

"I just can't wait especially because it's Oregon," Bell pointed out. "That's a team that recruits San Diego pretty heavily and I hold a grudge against every Pac-10 team because a lot of teams didn't give me a chance.

"I came out here with this mentality that I have a lot to prove to the nation, to the Pac-10, and to our coaches more than anybody because our coaches took the opportunity to pick me up and let me come out here and play, and go in there and play these teams and really do work on these guys, so I really can't wait. I'm excited man."

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