Loose Ends: ASU at OSU

There's several things we haven't touched on yet this week, so here's a quick rundown:

Tavita Thompson is eligible: It will be interesting to see if he gets to play a lot (and if he's effective) right away, but Tavita is now eligible after a one-year NCAA ban for taking some diet pills. His teammates are inspired by the way he's handled the ban, reports Paul Buker of the Oregonian.

Riley asked himself, a year ago, if perhaps Thompson's career was over.

And now? "I'm almost amazed at what he's done,'' said Riley. "Here's a senior who knows he's only going to be able to play the last five games of the year and he stayed right on top of it. More than anything, I've been impressed with his attitude. I've got a lot of admiration for him.''

Thompson was with the first-team offensive line last week in practice, and he was there again on Tuesday.

He said he is "excited beyond words'' that he is eligible again, excited that his teammates have happily accepted him back in the fold, excited that the coaching staff was patient with him, and supported him.

Former OSU coach Dennis Erickson is staring down the barrel of a six game losing streak: The East Valley Tribune's Anthony Martinez explores what Erickson will try to do to end the streak tonight.

Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson stressed the importance of the team staying loose after the team's practice Thursday.

"I think sometimes we've been a little uptight when we play," Erickson said. "Sometimes you press, particularly in the situation we're in right now. We've just got to go play football."

Just going out on the field and playing football may be tough for a team in the midst of a five-game losing streak.

"Everyone wants to win," Erickson said. "It's like any of us does sometimes when you're trying to win so bad."

"We've just got to go out and be athletes and play, and we've got to stay focused on what the hell is going on, you know, not make mental mistakes. That's killed us more than anything."

Erickson hopes that a focused and loose team means a fast start on Saturday at Oregon State for the Sun Devils, something the team hasn't been able to do recently.

Jacquizz Rodgers has his eye on the Pac-10 rushing crown: Jeff Metcalf of the The Arizona Republic sheds light on the Quizz show.

Jeff also delivers the news that ASU WR Kyle Williams won't be playing this week.

ASU's Rudy Carpenter has gotten a lot of national attention in the past, but it's a high possibility that OSU's Lyle Moevao will be the best quarterback on the field tonight.

That's a wrap. If you've got any other gameday news to share, here's the place.

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