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November 3, 2009

Sun Devils lose two for rest of season

Though the Arizona State football team has been banged up all year, it had been lucky to keep the season-ending injuries to a minimum. Until now.

While last weekend's 23-21 loss to Cal was bad enough, ASU coach Dennis Erickson said the team also suffered a pair of injuries that will require season-ending surgeries.

Freshman defensive tackle Corey Adams left the game in the second quarter with a back injury and needs surgery to remove a disc. Erickson said he hopes Adams will be ready for spring ball.

Sophomore wide receiver T.J. Simpson, the other fallen Sun Devil, will get a screw placed in his ankle he injured in the first quarter.

It was just some more salt in the wound for the already reeling club.

"We were dejected on Sunday, obviously, like they should have been," Erickson said. "Anybody that wants to win should have been dejected. We all were. Like the fans were, I'm sure."

During Tuesday's practice, sophomore defensive tackle Bo Moos filled in for Adams, lined up alongside freshman Will Sutton at the two-deep. Senior Spencer Gasu was also promoted from the scout team in wake of Adams' injury.

It's a shame Simpson got hurt just when he appeared to be carving himself a niche in the offense. With the rest of the receiving corps battling nagging injuries all year, Simpson's versatility to play both in the slot and on the outside was invaluable. Erickson even called Simpson his most valuable player a couple of weeks ago.

As he alluded to in Monday's press conference, Erickson and his staff made some changes to the secondary.

Redshirt freshman Deveron Carr, who played surprisingly well on Saturday, was running with the first team at right corner on Tuesday. Meanwhile, it appears sophomore Clint Floyd has supplanted senior Jarrell Holman as a first-team safety.

"We're just trying to get the right combination back there," Erickson said.

Junior cornerback Omar Bolden, who has missed four games with a knee sprain, was in full pads on Tuesday but took limited reps. Erickson said Bolden isn't 100 percent, but didn't speculate on his availability for Saturday's contest against USC.

With Bolden limited, sophomore Josh Jordan and senior Pierre Singfield were the No. 2 cornerbacks on Tuesday.

Had Singfield never got hurt, Carr likely never would have been inserted. Nonetheless, Carr made the most of his opportunity and stayed in even when Singfield was healthy enough to return, something that "really surprised" Carr.

"At first when they threw me out there I was nervous," Carr admitted. "But when they ran the reverse to my side and I made the tackle, I felt pretty good. I started feeling confident in myself … I'm not going to lie, this year I didn't expect [an opportunity to play]. But at the end of the day, I worked hard and I guess I'm earning it right now."

Since making the switch from high-school running back to college corner, Carr said he's been working hard with cornerbacks coach Greg Burns and graduate assistant Eric Williams. Carr said the hours of film study and picking Williams' brain is what enabled him to thrive.

"Sometimes you don't know until you go out there and give it a shot," Erickson said. "It was a pleasant surprise. Now we'll see how it is when he's got about a week to get ready for playing those receivers against USC."

Unfortunately for Carr, his parents weren't in attendance to see their boy get his first legit playing time. Turns out, it was the first home game they had missed all season.

"They will be here this weekend," Carr said.


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