In part because of a desire to experiment, in bigger part due to injuries, Arizona State is using the bye week to try players at other positions during practice.
The biggest changes are left guard Shawn Lauvao - ASU's most consistent offensive lineman this season - moving to right tackle and two new backup safeties: Ryan McFoy, who started his collegiate career at the position but has been at linebacker since 2007, and Keelan Johnson, a true freshman who had been playing at receiver.
"Luckily, we have this week off," coach Dennis Erickson said on Tuesday. "All this stuff has come down, and we can look at some different things."
ASU has two new injuries. Starting strong safety Clint Floyd is out at least two weeks with a lacerated kidney he suffered at Southern California on Saturday, and backup offensive lineman Matt Hustad will have a second surgery on his knee, ending his season.
Quarterback Rudy Carpenter (ankle), guard Paul Fanaika (leg), long snapper Thomas Ohmart (shoulder) and linebacker Brandon Magee (pectoral) did not practice. They should return by next week.
Safety Angelo Fobbs-Valentino wore an orange (noncontact) jersey in his first practice since injuring his knee in the season opener against Northern Arizona.
With Lauvao at tackle and Fanaika out, the first-team guards on Tuesday were true freshman Zach Schlink on the left side and redshirt freshman Adam Tello on the right. Tello started the first four games of the season at right tackle before losing the job to Tom Njunge.
Lauvao and Njunge split first-team snaps on Tuesday.
"Adam is at guard, where he probably belongs, where he played in high school and did good things," Erickson said. "Hustad won't play the rest of the year. That knee isn't healing, so in the next two or three weeks, he'll get reconstruction on it.
"So, we're running out of tackles."
Johnson backed up Rodney Cox at strong safety. Erickson said he long planned to try Johnson at safety, but he is in no rush to make the Mesa High product the 11th true freshman to play this year.
"I'd like to stick with offense, but with some safeties going down, there is an opportunity for me," Johnson said. "I've joked around with the coaches that I could play on both sides of the ball, and I really think I could do it if they let me."
McFoy, who was behind Troy Nolan at free safety, played 12 games (with eight starts) in the secondary as a true freshman in 2006. After Erickson arrived at ASU, he moved the 6-foot-2, 214-pounder to linebacker to better utilize his speed.
However, with Floyd, Fobbs-Valentino and Max Tabach (knee) out or limited, safety is a thin position.
"The most logical move to get another guy back there is Ryan," Erickson said. "Ryan played two years ago, so we'll get him back there to get some turns."