ASU notes: No apologies for agressive approach
SEP 16, 2013 5:15p ET
"You can second-guess yourself all you want," Graham said. "The thing you have to do is go back and learn from each circumstance."
First, Graham says he would have kicked a field goal on ASU's first offensive drive rather than going for it on fourth down at the 3-yard line.
"But we thought we'd have a walk-in touchdown," Graham said. "If you kick the field goal, they boo you. You can't make everybody happy, but you have to do what you go into the game believing."
Graham also admitted in hindsight he would have kicked extra points rather than twice trying and failing on two-point conversions.
"But we thought 'Coach, we've got a great two-point (unit),'" Graham said. "We felt good about those plays."
There were other issues Graham said could have been handled differently, like passing on second down on ASU's final offensive possession or how the clock was managed on the drive, but Graham said many of the decisions came down playing the kind of aggressive football ASU wants.
"You have to decide what your identity's going to be," Graham said. "We're trying to establish that.
"We’re not going to be a team that plays not to lose."
Graham said as he continues to mold ASU's aggressive identity, he reviews the success of Oregon and Stanford, who account for the last four conference titles.
"When it's fourth down and a foot, they go and get it," Graham said. "If you can't get a foot, then you're probably not going to win a championship. You've got to have that kind of belief in your guys."
Running back Deantre Lewis is seeing only limited action early in the season, but he's making the most of it and leaving a strong impression on coaches.
"I was very impressed going back and evaluating the film at how hard he ran with the ball," Graham said. "That's exciting to see."
Lewis made a few keys plays Saturday. He caught a 23-yard pass on a third down in the second quarter that moved ASU's into Wisconsin territory on a drive that ended with a field goal. Later, Lewis notched his only two carries of the game for 13 total yards in the red zone, helping to set up a Marion Grice touchdown run.
Lewis could see an increased role going forward.
"I think he'll be more of a factor," Graham said.
-- Graham said ASU isn't dealing with any significant injuries as it starts preparing for Stanford. Will Sutton suffered a thigh bruise in Saturday's game and Carl Bradford dealt with some cramping, but Graham expects everyone to practice this week.
-- Graham reiterated that ASU knew Wisconsin would fake a punt in the fourth quarter and planned for it but was not prepared for the specific play Wisconsin ran, which went 23 yards to extend a drive that ended with a touchdown.
-- For the second consecutive week, redshirt freshman linebacker Salamo Fiso impressed Graham. Fiso is pushing for the starting job, Graham said.
-- Graham was impressed by ASU's home crowd Saturday, particularly the student section. The crowd was so loud at times, Graham said, ASU's linebackers and defensive linemen had trouble communicating.