The Arizona State Sun Devils are trying hard to put last Saturday's disheartening loss behind them.
It hasn't been so easy. On Monday, coach Dennis Erickson and quarterback Brock Osweiler still dealt with questions about what happened less than 48 hours after ASU fell to UCLA 29-28 at the Rose Bowl, and now will need help from other Pac-12 teams (or team) to capture the South Division title.
Labeling the loss "gut-wrenching," Erickson lamented an outcome that saw the Devils (6-3, 4-2) outgain the Bruins on offense, rack up 201 rushing yards -- 168 for Cameron Marshall -- and not commit a turnover, yet still lose because the defense gave up big plays and the kicking game was responsible for potentially nine lost points.
Erickson, though, held himself accountable for allowing 25 seconds to tick off the clock after UCLA converted a third-and-29 inside of two minutes to play. Erickson was trying to get the officials' attention on the other side of the field to call time out, and got it at the 1:04 mark.
"I wasted 25 seconds, it's all on me, nobody else," Erickson explained. "What happened is that when they got the first down down there on the (ASU) 6, and then they lined up and... I was going to save a time out... I had trouble getting to the official. That's not anybody's fault but mine."
The Bruins scored to take the lead with 49 seconds left. But the Devils still had a chance. Osweiler drove the team to the UCLA 29 and called time out with four seconds to play, but kicker Alex Garoutte missed a 46-yard try as time expired, his third missed field goal of the day.
"I don't know if you ever fully recover from a game like that," Osweiler said. "I have moved on... as bad as it hurts, you have to move on past those games because you know what, today is a new opportunity, it's a new week and we've got new challenge ahead of us."
Erickson had a talk with Garoutte Sunday about executing the kicks and getting back and hitting the ball, saying that no one feels worse about the loss than Garoutte, a redshirt freshman from Phoenix Brophy Prep.
"He's kicked pretty well up until that game, so he's got to get it straight," Erickson said, "it's not like you can go under the magic wand and start kicking good... They're kids and and they miss them. I think it becomes a confidence factor, there's no question about that."
ASU will stick with Garoutte this week at Washington State and "see how it goes this week and then go from there," Erickson said.
As for the road game in Pullman, Wash., rain and possibly snow showers are expected for the Palouse on Saturday with temperatures in the 30s. The Cougars were crushed by Cal 30-7 on Saturday but appear to be at least a little better than their 3-6 record. The game is scheduled for 8:30 p.m. Arizona time when temperatures could be at freezing.
"It's going to be fun, I'm excited. I haven't played in weather like that for quite some time," Osweiler, a Montana native with cold-weather experience, said. "Maybe we'll be making snow angels and stuff, who knows?"