When asked for his assessment of the 48-14 victory over UC Davis, Brock Osweiler began his reply expressing his gratitude to those in attendance at Sun Devil stadium.
“I’d like to thank the fans and the student section first off,” Osweiler said, “It was an extremely hot night and the fans came out and supported us very well. They were loud and brought a lot of energy to the stadium, so that was exciting.
“As far as the team goes, I thought the offense for the most part executed what we were coached to do and the defense played very well. Special teams were a nice surprise: Alex (Garoutte) had a 49-yard field goal and Josh (Hubner) had a great 52-yard punt. Overall, I thought it was a good first game for us but we need to improve as we go throughout the season.”
Osweiler, who opened the season going 19 of 26 for 262 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception, was generally content with his performance last week.
“There were a few throws or plays that I wish I could maybe have back, maybe missed a read,” Osweiler admitted. “But overall I think I ended the game at 73 percent completion percentage. Anytime I’m over 70 (percent) I feel that I have done my job and got the ball to the playmakers so they can move the chains and score points for us.
“I thought I was hydrated. I drink at least two gallons of water a day, on top of Gatorade and Cytomax every day…but I definitely upped that dose this week and just preparing for the hot game.”
There is no way to overstate the proverbial big stage for the Arizona State – Missouri contest. It will be played on Friday night and viewed by a national ESPN TV audience, with both the Sun Devils and their fans donning their black attire. Osweiler welcomes the bright light that will be shinning on him and his teammates this weekend.
“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Osweiler commented. “This is a game we have had circled for a very long time. We don’t like to look ahead, but I know that when I was recruited to come here this was one of the games that we talked about. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m happy that it’s on national TV on a Friday night. It gives our football team a chance to show what we are truly made of this year.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun.”
When preparing for this game, the Sun Devil signal caller said that he has been impressed with the Tigers’ defensive line.
“They have some big, athletic guys up front,” Osweiler described. “They play with a lot of intensity. They have a few linebackers that have played for a couple years now and that are very talented. Their secondary doesn’t seem to make very many mistakes. They play sound, disciplined football. They understand what they are doing in their coverages.
“So overall I see a great defense, a great football team and I expect a good game.”
Granted, a lot of this week’s game hype is surrounding the team’s new black uniforms. Nonetheless, Osweiler said that the football team is excited for the other elements surrounding this game.
“We’re expecting a full stadium and we’re playing a very quality opponent,” Osweiler stated, “and we’re at home early in the season. There are a lot of things to be excited for Friday night. But one thing I can promise you,this team is ready and we will be prepared for the game.”
The ASU quarterback said that the younger fans were quick to embrace the new uniforms and new logo introduced last April, but that the older fans were not as quickly enamored with the Sun Devils’ new look.
“But as time went on they have learned to like them more and more,” Osweiler said. “At this point I haven’t heard any negative comments. It’s all has been excitement and positive comments. Everybody is welcomed to their opinion and those are things I don’t worry about.”
Penalties have been one of ASU’s glaring shortcomings in the last couple of years, but if their 2011 season opener was any indication, this aspect may be a thing of the past. The Sun Devils had just 40 yards in penalties and Osweiler attributes that performance to a new attitude instilled in the squad, going back to its winter strength and conditioning workouts.
“Ben (Hilgart) our strength coach took it as far as how we lined up for stretch,” Osweiler recalled, “when no coaches were around. If we didn’t do it right, we would run. When we were doing conditioning, people would cross the line before he blew the whistle and he would back us up ten yards. So he would add reps to it. It’s something that definitely got the point across.
“So becoming a disciplined football team started there and it carried over to spring football and fall camp. Coach Mazzone and coach Erickson were constantly reminding us that we do need to improve on our discipline, and really enforcing that during our meetings and practice sessions.”