"It's tough dealing with the whole situation this past Saturday,” Sullivan admitted. “I didn't expect anything like that to happen. It was tough going out on the field. But in the last 48 hours, I have had time to relax and get support from family and friends.
“I just need to continue what I have been doing, keep things in stride. New things happen every week.”
According to the signal caller, a slow start in the first half, spotting Oregon State 21-3, is what ultimately led to a loss in the Sun Devils’ Pac-10 opener.
“We came out in the second half and started fast getting the touchdown we need,” Sullivan said, “and the stop that we need, but then we just hit a wall again. We were moving the ball all right, but we just hit the wall and caused ourselves to be in a hole.”
The game on Saturday featured a four-wide receiver alignment for the majority of the snaps, which naturally eliminated the chances of the tight ends to be part of the passing game. Yet, through four games only 3 of ASU’s 78 receptions and 21 out of the total 882 receiving yards have come from this position (all by senior Jovon Williams).
When asked if this was hurting the overall effort in the passing game, Sullivan replied that this was just a matter of the tight ends getting lost in the mix in a fairly large group of very capable receivers.
“The fact that we are trying to get all the guys time and receptions is hard,” Sullivan explained. “Those guys make big plays, and when you get it in their hands, they are willing to go make a play for you. Obviously Chris (McGaha) had a career night and Kyle (Williams) tried to gut it, tired the best he could with his hamstring (injury).
“We have guys who are out there who want to play and want to make plays. It’s tough when you have the tight ends there wanting to make catches. From our perspective the receivers are doing a good job so getting them in open space is a big deal for us.”
Overall, offensively speaking, Sullivan feels that he and his teammates are very close to playing at the level he think they all should be playing at.
“We were moving the ball,” Sullivan stated. “It’s just a matter of getting that one play where we continue to move the ball down the field, get the drive continuing. Saturday we didn't do it. We just have to take it in stride and learn from it. It's not the way we intended to play, but it's a new week and we have to get focused and ready to go."
In preparing for Washington State, Sullivan still has the support of Head Coach Dennis Erickson, who said that the senior will remain as the starter. He appreciates that vote of confidence, and will accept any decision Erickson will hand down concerning this position down the road.
“It means a lot, especially from a coach of his stature,” Sullivan noted, “saying he's going to back me through thick and thin. I respect that, and if things don't go my way, then I'm still going to respect coach to the fullest. He has the best interest of the team and so do I. No matter what happens I will deal with it. If things don't go my way, I will support whoever is playing. I will keep helping the team in any way I can.
“It’s my job right now, but it’s matter of how I go about it. Am I going to pick myself up and getter better? Or am I just going to stay level headed and continue to play not the way I want to be playing. It’s up to me and like I said if things do go my way I’ll support whoever is.”
Sullivan has identified the area that he wants to improve on the most, and vows to get better in that area during this week’s practices.
“Crucial downs is not what I am helping this football team with,” Sullivan admitted. “I'm not making the plays I want to make. It's frustrating, that’s for sure and I think my frustration showed Saturday night after the game. This is not the way I want to be playing right now, and it's not the way I intended it to be. I have got to get myself better and help this team.”