(Photo: ASU Athletics)
Every Monday Todd Graham holds a press conference to discuss the previous week and Arizona State’s upcoming opponent. We’ll try to decipher what exactly the second-year Sun Devil’s head coach is saying during his often long-winded, sometimes funny and always entertaining and informative media sessions. All quotes transcribed by Sun Devil Athletics.
Graham: The reality is, any championship you ever win, you are going to play in a lot of close football games and that is the reality not in just the next five weeks but hopefully in the next 12 games we have to play.
Translation: Did you see Notre Dame last year? They should’ve lost at least three games. Somebody has to benefit from Pac-12 officiating, might as well be a Pac-12 team this year.
Graham: But it was one of those things that, like I told our coaching staff, I looked at it and I knew what happened. There is a human element to this game and you win or you lose. We won, we go to the next deal.
Translation: Yes, we should’ve lost, but a bunch of people were confused at the end of that game, and Wisconsin did a horrible job of reacting to the situation. Our guys did the smart thing, delay the game and get away with it, which I thought was pretty genius.
Graham: I thought he was special. I told you watching his film that he was as good as I have seen on film at what he does. He still is still working on understanding how to do some things. He is only going to get better every week. That has really helped us to give us an element outside that is really physical and I don’t know if you know this – obviously the 100 yards receiving, everyone knows that – but his blocking and how physical he is.
Translation: One day, we will all look back and say ‘wow, remember that one year he was in college?’ Yep, I’m already preparing for it. And we need to get him the ball more, especially if we want to beat Stanford.
Graham: I thought Salamo Fiso was outstanding. His deal is just getting the experience. He is going to get better every rep he has. He is really instinctive, he plays down hill and I thought played really, really well so he will get more and more reps at linebacker and I consider him a starter. Steffon Martin played his best game; that is what is great about competition.
Translation: Have I ever told you how many good linebackers we have? Also, have I ever told you how many good linebackers we have?
Graham: One of the things that has happened to is that we have spent so much time focusing on stopping the run, stopping the power run is we have to make sure we don’t underestimate the fact that Stanford can throw the football. This team’s identity is different than last year’s team and it has to do with personnel.
Translation: Don’t sleep on Kevin Hogan. The Stanford quarterback is the most overlooked signal-caller in the Pac-12. While he isn’t yet in the same conversation as Marcus Mariota, Brett Hundley, Taylor Kelly or Keith Price, he is close, and he is certainly good enough to beat you if you load the box.
You can reach Jason Galvin on Twitter @Jason_Galvin or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.