Green makes strides in development, Moore confident in “different” ASU team
In the short span of snaps he’s seen thus far, freshman walk-on defensive lineman B.J. Green has taken advantage of his opportunities. Two games into his Sun Devil career, the Bogart, Ga., native has already accumulated two sacks as defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce searches for help in the absence of All-American defensive line candidate Jermayne Lole.
“It was kind of a surreal moment,” said Green of his early accomplishments in maroon and gold. “I didn’t really grasp anything that happened until I came back into the locker room and all of my older teammates were there, and they told me what happened.”
Southern Utah and UNLV don’t quite compare to what no. 19 Arizona State should face with no. 23 BYU this weekend in Provo, but Green said the Sun Devils game plan should be sufficient to get the job done against the Cougars.
“I think we just need to be assignment sound,” said Green. Following ASU’s 37-10 win over UNLV, head coach Herm Edwards praised Green for the energy he provides, while Pierce told reporters Green might need to be put on scholarship soon. “We have the physical capability to beat them, we just have to go out there and just do our job, and everything will work itself out.”
That mentality expressed by Green carries over after a second half which saw Arizona State hold UNLV to just 19 yards of total offense. The Rebels were unable to ever pass the Sun Devils’ 50-yard line during the final 30 minutes as Pierce’s unit stepped up mentally as much as physically.
“I think it was more of a mentality thing than a physical thing,” Green said of the second half performance. “We knew we could beat them; we just had minor adjustments that we had to correct, so when we came out in the second half, we knew what we needed to do.”
Given that the Cougars’ resumé already features wins over two Pac-12 squads in Arizona and Utah, Green was asked if that caught the attention of the Sun Devils. The freshman didn’t appear too concerned with their previous accomplishments, instead of expressing a belief that Arizona State should dictate terms in its first road contest.
“They beat two Pac-12 teams, but like I said, we’re Arizona State,” explained Green. “We know what we can do. We know our potential. They beat two Pac-12 teams, but we know what we can do as a school, so it doesn’t really faze us that much.”
Green continues to learn from two Sun Devils who also received playing time during their freshman seasons. The aforementioned Lole and graduate student defensive lineman Shannon Forman have given him pointers early in his ASU career.
“With Jermayne, it’s like a big brother type thing. He gives us many good pointers, and as an interior, when he went out, we became way closer,” Green told reporters Tuesday. “We still have Shannon, and he’s like another big brother type. Me and Omarr (Norman-Lott) are like little brothers just learning along the way.”
Another Sun Devil whose been strong in his first two performances in Tempe is defensive end, Travez Moore. The LSU transfer registered a sack during ASU’s season-opening win and contributed two tackles, one of which was a tackle for loss.
“I feel like I had a good game against Southern Utah,” Moore said while evaluating his performance through two games. “So far, if I had to grade myself, though, I’d give myself a C-minus. I feel like I can do way better.”
Moore was very complimentary of BYU and mentioned his excitement for his first trip to the state of Utah. In October, the Sun Devils will make a return trip to that state to face the Utes.
“It’s just the little stuff,” said Moore on the keys to a successful road trip. “Eat right, go to sleep on time and wake up energized. I go to bed early. I go to bed at like 7:30, so I feel like for me personally when I wake up that morning, I’m gonna be ready and juiced up.”
Following a weekend that saw BYU take down a then ranked Utah squad and no. 13 USC fall at home to Stanford, Moore was asked whether this weekend was a chance to provide a Pac-12 South statement.
“Oh, hell yeah,” Moore said. “They’re good. BYU’s – have y’all seen these boys play against Utah? We’ve got to go in there ready to play. We can’t start off slow. We started off slow in those first two games, and we can’t do that against them.
“We’ve gotta go hit them first. That’s our mindset.”
With experience in the bright lights and packed stadiums of the SEC during his time in Baton Rouge, Moore said games like this Saturday’s with ranked opponents squaring off is what gets him excited.
“I know that I’m going to a hostile environment. It’s not my first time there in a real, hostile environment. They’ve got a great fanbase, and I know they’ll be pumped to see us. Two ranked teams. The energy in the air is going to be there. I feast off that. I feast off adversity. That’s what I love.”
Edwards said Monday that he hadn’t spoken to his players about the altitude they’d be playing at in Utah, but Moore said Tuesday that playing in the mountains for the first time was something he was looking forward to.
“I’m from the south,” Moore, a Bastrop, La., native said with a kid-on-Christmas-like joy. “This is (going to be) my first time ever seeing the mountains. That’s what I’m excited about. I’m going to take pictures.”
Just like Green, Moore expressed a belief that this Arizona State team was built differently than its Pac-12 South peers. BYU, which faces five total Pac-12 teams – four of which are from the South – hosts Arizona State Saturday at 7:15 p.m.
“We ain’t every team from our conference,” Moore said confidently. “We’re Arizona State. We’re the Sun Devils. We’re different. We’re better than everybody else. We’re more physical; we play physical football. We’re different, and they’re going to see that.
“It’s going to be a statement. We’re going to go in there and put the world on notice.”
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