“I feel like this rivalry means the same to all of the players here,” Carr said. “It is an extremely intense rivalry and it means a heck of a lot to me since I’m from Arizona, but it means a lot to everyone on this team because we have put in a lot of work leading up to this game.”
“We need to beat the Cats, and send myself and the rest of the seniors out on a high.”
Deveron Carr couldn’t envision a better ending to his Sun Devil Career than beating the Wildcats on their home turf in Tucson.
“It would be huge,” Carr admitted. “I am an Arizona State Sun Devil and will be for the rest of my life. It would be fantastic to know that I went out with a bang and picked up the win against the ‘cats.”
As a fifth-year senior, Carr has many memories of his past games against Arizona. What he remembers most is the capability both teams had to raise their level of play during this matchup.
“I feel like every year each team comes into the game with more and more intensity than they have had in any other game,” Carr explained. “Both teams are different teams when we play each other. We play at a higher level than we have the whole year. It’s a rivalry game, the atmosphere is great, and it’s the most important game we play in every year.”
Even though the Sun Devils are charged for the game on Friday, the cornerback has witnessed in the last two practices the same level of discipline the Sun Devils have shown the entire season.
“I felt like the energy out there today was great,” Carr said following Tuesday’s session. “We have guys out there who are focused and as well-disciplined as if it was the first week. We are ready to go play the Cats.”
One of the challenges that Sun Devil defense will face this week will be Arizona quarterback Matt Scott and an explosive passing game. Carr admits that the Wildcats’ signal caller’s mobility puts added pressure on the secondary while they are in coverage.
“You know that you might have to stay in coverage longer than usual,” the cornerback said of that aspect. “If you listen to Coach Graham though and do what he’s telling you to do, and use the correct technique and fundamentals, you will be fine.”
Carr is also cognizant of the physical element that is present in Arizona’s passing offense.
“They have big wide receivers,” Carr remarked. “They are jump ball type of receivers, so you have to be really physical with them at the line of scrimmage.”
Posting 21 tackles and seven passes defended, Head Coach Todd Graham considers Carr as the most improved player on the entire Sun Devil squad. The cornerback credits an improved work ethic as well as well as attention to detail as reasons for his higher level of play.
“I would say the biggest improvements that I have made have been my technique and my tackling ability,” Carr said. “I got more physical with my hands and my all-around game. I changed my mindset, to focus on the little things such as my footwork. I have made myself attack the tackle instead of letting them come to me. Changing those small things has really helped me improve.”
Even with the team only having what Graham calls “two bowl games” left on their schedule, Carr believes that the team’s approach for each of these games will be the same as it was for the preceding 11 contests.
“Our preparation has been good all year,” Carr stated. “We have used the same preparation that we used against Oregon, USC and every other team we have played. I feel like you don’t want to change anything, as we have had great focus and preparation all year.
"We would be wrong to change anything now after having a great mindset for the past 11 weeks.”