ASU Tuesday: Notes

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The Trojans pumped crowd noise into practice as they ready for the first truly hostile road atmosphere of the season.
  • Lane Kiffin does not discuss injuries, but he is concerned about his depth.  "I'm hopeful a lot of our guys are going to play," the head coach said about injury doubts.  When asked about redshirting players, he explained that many of the redshirt candidates are working with the first and second team this week, so everybody is "alive."
  • Lee-ASU2-McG.jpgWhile many fans and media members are treating the Utah State game like a loss, the players are less concerned about style points than the final result.  "The main important thing for us and our team, and I speak for everybody, is winning," said team captain Marqise Lee.  "We're struggling a little bit on the offense that we actually need to improve and pick up on, but that's what we come back every week and do."
  • In order to keep winning, Cody Kessler knows the offense will have to continue to progress.  "We definitely would like to score more and there were some points we left on the field in that game.  Obviously, we can do better in some areas and one of those is the passing game."
  • The passing game issues are mostly about timing which focuses the spotlight on the playing chemistry between the quarterback and the star receiver.  "Me and Cody talked to each other about the situation," said Lee.  "We know it is going to open up again.  We're just trying to improve it.  Overall, we'll be alright.  By the time those passes come, I think I'll be catching those."
  • Lee has found it difficult to match his Biletnikoff Award winning numbers of a year ago without his running mate.  "It's different.  There's no more Robert Woods on the other side of me," he said. "Now, he's not here and I'm the focus.  I just have to work through it."
  • Pass protection is a key third component of the passing game.  Given the inexperience on the line, several players are learning on the job.  "It's not second nature for them," said senior John Martinez about the blocking schemes and communication.  "It hasn't come down to the point where they just do it naturally.  They are just thinking too much about it and then, 'Oh crap, that's my bad.'" 
  • The offense could use a veteran presence like Silas Redd, but he is stuck on the sidelines rehabbing his knee.  "That's frustrating.  Knowing that I can help.  I can't solve all the problems that we have, but I know that I can help bring something to the table," Redd said. "It's my knee.  I am doing everything I need to do to get back as soon as possible."
  • After three consecutive home games in a grumbly Coliseum, the team will now face road rage in Tempe.  "I remember playing there two years ago and it is a very hostile environment," said Kessler who backed up Matt Barkley that season.  "I enjoyed that.  You like getting up for big games like that.  You love that football atmosphere."
  • Here is Lane Kiffin on the Penn State situation, the offense and ASU...

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Pass more tot the tight ends...

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