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ASU Football Vs. Colorado: Sun Devils Refreshed After Bye

The Sun Devils were able to get some rest and those players dealing with major and minor injuries were able to heal a little more during the team's recent bye. Now the second half of the Pac-10 season begins against Colorado.

After three days of practice last week in which some young players got an opportunity to get some reps and regulars got much-needed rest, the Sun Devils are back to their regular game week routine with lowly Colorado coming to Tempe this Saturday.

As for the coaches, Dennis Erickson and his staff used Friday and Saturday to hit the recruiting trail and watch some other action from around college football. 

"I had the remote Saturday, watched a lot of games, second-guessed a lot of coaches," Erickson said. "I wanted to know what it was like to be like you guys (reporters). It was kind of fun, actually."

Running back Cameron Marshall was among those who benefited most from the extra rest for his bum ankle, and Erickson said he had looked strong in Sunday's practice.

Cornerback Omar Bolden moved closer to his first game action of the season, playing on the Devils' scout team Sunday in practice. But it still seems unlikely that Bolden and injured offensive lineman Evan Finkenberg will play against Colorado. 

Not like the No. 23 Devils (5-2) will need those two against the injury-depleted, struggling Buffaloes (1-7), whose move to the Pac-12 has not gone well so far. Colorado was thumped 45-2 by Oregon in Boulder Saturday, and the Buffaloes have been outscored 297-155 in total points this season.

Erickson said star linebacker Vontaze Burfict is "getting better all the time," and that his leadership is showing through the past few games after he started out playing somewhat tentative. "He's playing like 'Taze right now, just becoming more aggressive," Erickson said. 

Dan Knapp will play left tackle for Finkenberg as the Devils have seen improved play from right tackle Aderious Simmons, who is manning that spot.

Asked about quarterback Brock Osweiler's play this season, Erickson said, "I would give him a shiny smile."

Osweiler, after making a "Mork and Mindy" reference to open his comments (TV show from decades ago starring Robin Williams), said he spent some time in Denver during the bye with a friend. He feels refreshed.

With Colorado, Osweiler will be studying more film for the different looks the Buffs' defense could give him. Whether CU belongs in the Pac-12 or back in the Big 12 is of no concern to Osweiler.

"If you're playing Division I football, you know what? You're a good football team with quality football players," Osweiler said.