Arizona State braces for hostile environment in Oklahoma State

Talk to Arizona State football players about their upcoming game against No. 10 Oklahoma State and one word keeps coming back. . . “excited.”

Offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson, one of the team’s captains, used it no less than a dozen times during a five-minute interview after the Sun Devils’ practice ended on Tuesday. morning.

The Sun Devils (1-0) passed their first test, beating Northern Arizona 40-3 last Thursday. It’s now in Stillwater, Oklahoma, where they will challenge Oklahoma State in what is sure to be a raucous Boone Pickens Stadium, which seats 55,000 and is the oldest venue in the Big 12.

Kick-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m., with the match being broadcast on ESPN2.

This will be the fourth straight season in which ASU’s first road game has come against a ranked opponent.

“It’s a great place to play obviously, so, you know, we better be ready for that. It’s very loud out there,” ASU coach Herm Edwards said. “Crowd noise, we have to deal with all of that. It’s our first time riding together as a team and it’s a special place to play obviously and we better be ready to do that because we’re going to have to play at our best, there’s no doubt about that.

Last season, ASU went 6-1 at home, 2-3 on the road and 0-1 on neutral ground. Penalties were a problem from start to finish, but especially on the road. ASU fans won’t soon forget the first game on the road last season, a 27-17 loss to Brigham Young in which they were called for 16 penalties for 121 yards, including seven on fouls. departures largely due to crowd noise.

Utah was not a good place for Edwards’ team, which also had 115 penalty yards and gave up 28 unanswered points in the second half in losing a Pac-12 game to Utah 35- 21 later in the season.

The Sun Devils have had practices with artificial crowd noise and they are working on the silent count.

This will undoubtedly be the biggest crowd that offensive lineman Emmit Bohle has ever played in front of. He was transferred to ASU from Northern State (SD) Division II

“We have to stay disciplined, do what we have to do,” Bohle said. “We watched the video this morning, give us a preview of what we’re going to get, so I’m excited. It’s going to be fun. Lots of fans. Lots of noise. I think it’s one of those things that you need to get in the experience. Games like this are the reason I came here.

September 1, 2022;  Tempe, Arizona, USA;  Arizona State's Sun Devil quarterback Emory Jones lines up to hike against the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks at Sun Devil Stadium.

For others, the experience won’t necessarily be something new or overwhelming. Defensive back Ro Torrence came from Auburn, so he’s been in some hostile territory in SEC play, specifically singling out the Iron Bowl between Auburn and Alabama. He also singled out a non-conference game last season at Penn State.

“I already know the mood is going to be crazy. You’re on the road. We just have to stay calm, play our game and we’re going to be good,” Torrence said.

“Don’t fuel this. The noise is going to be there. We’re on the road. Just keep calm and stay calm,” Torrence added, when asked what his advice to his teammates would be.

Henderson and kicker Carter Brown are both from Texas, one state away. So they will have family at the game.

“For games like this, it’s always super exciting,” Henderson said. “I’m excited for this team because when I look around the dressing room, everyone is so excited. That’s what makes me excited.

“We learned a lot from our previous mistakes and learned things, did some things in the offseason, now even more to avoid that, so I’m confident, excited.”

Only two teams in the FBS game were penalized more than ASU last season. Cleaner play was a focus in both spring and fall camp. That seems to have helped as the Sun Devils only had four penalties for 35 yards against NAU.

When asked what he wanted to see, Edwards replied:

“That we keep our composure. In an environment where it’s going to be very noisy and it’s on the road and all those things, how do we deal with that now? We go on the road. And obviously when you go on the touch it’s gonna be a little bit louder, how do they deal with that? It’s another experience that we’re gonna have together as a team, and we’ll find that. I think these guys are gonna – I think they’re gonna , hopefully keep calm, stay focused on the job at hand.

Best Pac-12 Players Named

True freshman kicker Carter Brown made a solid debut for Sun Devil and it earned him Pac-12 Special Teams Player of the Week honors.

Brown had four field goals, including two for 44 yards in Thursday’s win. He also had four extra kicks, giving him 16 points for the contest. It’s an improved stance since last year, ASU scored just eight field goals all season, the longest at just 40 yards.

“All the pre-game warm-ups, I felt pretty good, then we went out for the first basket and it was really cool to see the fans and I had a bit of butterflies but I was just talking to (starter) Eddie (Czaplick) and he said Let’s do this one and keep moving and we did it. It was awesome.

Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura is the Offensive Player of the Week. He finished the game with 299 yards and four touchdowns on 29 of 35 passes in a 38–20 win over San Diego State on the road. Gilbert native and Desert Ridge product Jalen Harris of the Wildcats was named Defensive Lineman of the Week.

Tips

Offensive lineman Des Holmes, running back Jordan Clark and cornerback Timarcus Davis have all returned to practice, but Ed Woods, who started in Davis’ place last week, and defensive lineman Gharin Stansbury (hamstrings) were still out.

Offensive lineman Joey Ramos, a Deer Valley High School local, suffered an ankle injury Thursday night and Edwards confirmed Monday that he was out for the season. The player let it be known on social media on Tuesday morning that he was undergoing surgery.

Contact the reporter at [email protected] or 602 444-4783. Follow her on Twitter @MGardnerSports.

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