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Sun Devils Speak About Importance of Confidence and Consistency

The only belief that matters are those who are in the locker room for Arizona State.

As a college football team, you'll hear and see plenty of opinions towards your play, and the Arizona State Sun Devils know that all a little too well. 

Especially coming off of a poor performance that saw the team drop their first game of the season to BYU, the Sun Devils knew how vital a strong performance was against a Colorado team that had put up quite the fight with fifth-ranked Texas A&M just two weeks before. 

A strong performance was indeed had, as ASU bounced back in solid fashion to defeat the Buffaloes 35-13 at Sun Devil Stadium. Arizona State accumulated over 400 yards of offense, allowed a mere 67 rushing yards to a Colorado team that staked their identity in pounding the rock, and committed no turnovers to go with a 50% reduction in the previous 16-penalty flagfest in Provo. 

It was a nice bounce-back win for the program, and Sun Devils head coach Herm Edwards says the team just needed to simplify their game.

“We needed to get our confidence back as a football team, and keep our poise. The whole thing I talked about all week was, when you play a game like this, after coming off a game like we had (vs. BYU), we needed to play a clean game, but we didn’t want to play a cautious game," said Edwards following the game. 

"I didn’t want them to be cautious, worrying about making mistakes. I just said, ‘Play free, free yourself and just play football, and see what it looks like,' and I think, for the most part, we were able to do that.”

For Edwards and the rest of the team, remaining consistent was a focal point both leading up to the game, and during the actual game itself. 

He said, "There was some kind of consistency with our football team. When you think about how we played, we were pretty good. On third-down situations we were good, offensively and defensively as well. In the red zone, we were really good as well.

"We scored touchdowns in the red zone. There were still a couple fouls on some big returns, and special teams hurt us. I think we had like four penalties just on special teams alone that really negated some big plays. But, for the most part, I think this was a pretty complete game for us, from the start to the finish. 

"We knew playing this team was going to be hard. They were a good defense, it was going to be hard to move the ball. We were steady, and we were able to score points, which is always good.”

Part of that consistency came in the form of eliminating mental mistakes, whether that be gift-wrapping turnovers to keep the Buffaloes in the game or eliminating the amount of yellow flags thrown on the field. 

"It was a big focus and the whole team knows we can’t win football games having that many penalties and it showed last week," said quarterback Jayden Daniels. "The main focus with the leaders of the offense, defense, and captains, was to come here and focus up. We know what we’re capable of and we played a clean football game.

"There weren’t any adjustments made. In the first half, we had sustained drives, but we didn’t capitalize. That was the main thing. We just finished drives and that’s what we harped on all week at practice, and we harped onat halftime and then we went out and executed it.”

With Arizona State back in the win column, the Sun Devils look to begin a new winning streak at the Rose Bowl, last emerging victorious at Pasadena in 2015. 

Confidence and consistency will indeed be required of ASU to steal a win on the road, yet a big win on Saturday may have given the Sun Devils exactly the dose of both needed to play their best football next weekend.