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September 6, 2006

9/05 Practice Notebook

After reviewing additional tape from the NAU game, ASU coaches took a sack initially credited to David Smith away and instead gave it to Derron Ware, which means Ware had four sacks in the game, enough to tie him for the national lead with Antwan Barnes of Florida International.

Ware's four sack performance -- now equal to the sack total of the entire defensive line -- helped pace the Sun Devils to a national-best nine sacks through the first week of action. ASU is also tied for the lead with 13 tackles for loss.

Injury Update: Safety Rodney Cox is expected to be back in action for the Nevada game after missing the NAU contest due to a shoulder injury. Cox will be the third-team nickel back behind Ryan McFoy and Jeremy Payton.

Defensive end Tranell Morant is progressing and is increasing his activity level as he returns from a toe injury. Morant may play on Saturday versus Nevada if he's able to put together two more solid practices. A decision should come by Thursday.

"We'll go another day or so on Tranell, and then we'll decide," coach Dirk Koetter said. "But he's off to a good start."

Defensive end Loren Howard will miss the Nevada game, and he will remain physically inactive for the week. Doctors are hoping the scar tissue in Howard's injured quadriceps will settle and allow for him to return to activity when he's re-evaluated sometime next week, but it's unclear when he would be game-ready.

Jamaal Lewis Update: Koetter said that the program was still gathering information about Lewis' situation and there was nothing new to report. Lewis will miss the Nevada game and his suspension will continue indefinitely.

Preparing for Nevada defense: "They're a 3-4 defense instead of a 3-3-5 so we primarily play four down defenses with 40 fronts so to go to a three man line it causes you to alter your blocking schemes so we're definitely preparing for that," Koetter said.

Preparing for Nevada offense: "Even though Nevada operates out of a short shotgun they're really a running team," Koetter said. "They make you defend their running back and they do a nice job with their downhill running game so the key for us is we gotta stop their running game. We gotta stop those two backs from running the ball downhill. Most of their offense comes off the running game."

On the lighter side: "We play music out there every day and I think Coach [Bill Miller] must have broken into the CD machine and paid somebody to get (country artist) Merle Haggard on there. I heard him tell one of the players that Merle Haggard had more soul in his little finger than they had in their whole body. He didn't believe 'em. After that I said the worst part of practice is over."


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