“There was nothing unexpected,” safety Jarrell Holman commented. “We came out flat, we weren’t up and we had to wake up. They didn’t do anything new, we really just got outplayed tonight.”
Holman, the man responsible for two interceptions during last week’s battle against the Georgia Bulldogs, stepped it up in the third quarter today and intercepted Beavers’ quarterback, Sean Canfield.
“They tried to split me,” Holman said about the interception. “I was splitting two of them and as they were receiving I read the quarterback and made a jump on the ball.”
The Sun Devil defense gave up twenty-one points in the first half alone, leaving the Danny Sullivan and the offensive group playing catch-up the rest of the contest. The Oregon State Beavers began the game in control and maintained it throughout the ball game.
“I wouldn’t judge it as a good one,” Holman said about the defense’s performance. “We gave up twenty-one first quarter points. To start out like that really puts the offense in a tough spot. We weren’t getting any three and outs, all their points were getting back deep in our zone. We weren’t backing our offense up; they had to drive the ball really far. I don’t think we did too well early today. At the end we picked it up but it didn’t matter. We had to come out early and set the tone and we didn’t do that.”
After a heartbreaking loss last week, many anticipated that the Sun Devils would come out strong and ready to establish themselves in the Pac-10. However, the team seemed to have temporarily regressed during Saturday’s contest. The question that arises today is what the source of the squad’s performance was.
“We were mentally ready to go,” Holman claimed. “We were prepared but obviously we didn’t execute. When we get turnovers we should come out with the mentality that we have to get the ball back, we have to get a turnover. We should be happy to get on the field because that’s what we came here to play as a defense. The more we’re on the field the happier we are because we should be getting stops.
“Like I said, we have to go out there with the mentality to get a three and out and a touchdown. We have to have the mentality that we have to get stop. There is no excuse for how we did tonight. We can’t blame the offense for anything; we were the ones who gave up points. We want stops and we need to get stops every time. It’s not the offense doing three and out, it’s not if they score touchdowns, we have to get stops.”
Coach Erickson and the Sun Devils have now lost two consecutive disheartening games, and will have to leave it all behind when they travel to Washington State to take on the Cougars. Being able to learn from their mistakes and improve on their recent performance as they continue to meet Pac-10 competitors will be a challenge for the Devils, yet a completely plausible one.
“Right now we still have to come out with the same mentality,” Holman stated. “We can’t let this game beat us up. If we attack it now, we have to see what we come out with next week and see how we do after two losses in a row but I feel like we’re going to come out with fire. We’re going to do our best to come out with a win.”