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October 15, 2009

Weber could return for Washington game

The Bobby Wenzig experiment has been going for nearly a month now, but it may come to an end this weekend when the Arizona State football team hosts Washington.

Junior kicker Thomas Weber attempted field goals for the second consecutive practice Wednesday, this time going in full pads. Weber stretched out his range to 42 yards, but did not attempt any kickoffs.

"He's [feeling around] 60 percent probably," ASU coach Dennis Erickson said. "I hate to give a percentage on something like that, I was never good in school, math particularly. But he's kicking it enough [in practice] where he could probably kick it to a certain point [in the game]. But I certainly don't want to screw with his leg."

Weber didn't talk to reporters following practice, but Erickson said he will be a game-time decision.

Wenzig, meanwhile, has experienced mixed results in Weber's absence. In four games of action, Wenzig has gone 3-for-4, his lone miss coming via a block by Georgia's A.J. Green. While Wenzig's 43-yarder in the Georgia rain was certainly his finest moment this season, his two marred extra-point attempts against Washington State last week are equally as disappointing.

The first attempt reportedly wasn't tipped at the line, but simply was a bad kick that missed the target. His second attempt came out too low was blocked at the line of scrimmage.

Erickson said he noticed Wenzig has been able to put more height under his kicks during practice this week, but took no credit for the change.

"I don't screw around with those guys," Erickson said of the kickers. "But obviously if you play back in your stance, you hit it low -- that's what they tell me about golf -- but if you play it up front you hit it high. It might have something to do with that, I don't know."

Senior wide receiver Chris McGaha missed practice for the second straight time Wednesday, as he is reportedly battling serious flu-like symptoms. Erickson said he hopes McGaha will be able to return tomorrow, though.

As a result, a pair of freshmen receivers, Jamal Miles and J.J. Holliday were promoted off the scout team Wednesday. Miles lined up in the slot, while Holliday was split outside.

"We're kind of running out of bodies here," Erickson said. "I'll probably play Jamal [in the slot] and in the kicking game. He might play in a lot of different places because he's got that breakaway stuff that maybe we can use."

Erickson added that he won't be using Holliday.

It was just Tuesday when Miles was busy imitating UW quarterback Jake Locker on the scout team offense. Locker, of course, is the first dual-threat quarterback ASU has faced this season. Senior linebacker Mike Nixon conceded he is more worried about Locker on the ground rather than Locker through the air.

"We've seen some good passers the last couple years," Nixon said. "But the things that he can do with his feet really put pressure on you to maybe keep an extra guy around the box and it kind of opens things up for his passing game because we're so concerned about his running."

Junior cornerback Omar Bolden was still sidelined Wednesday and doing rehabilitation work on his injured right knee. Erickson said Bolden was questionable for this weekend.

Sophomore guard Garth Gerhart was held out of practice again, but is expected to play Saturday. Senior Brent Good received most of the reps with the first team at right guard Wednesday, while sophomore Adam Tello also got a few snaps.


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