ASU football notebook: Safety Cox quietly working to start again - East Valley Tribune: Sports

ASU football notebook: Safety Cox quietly working to start again

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Posted: Wednesday, October 22, 2008 9:17 pm | Updated: 11:14 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Rodney Cox is done talking.

It's not something that can be easily controlled by Arizona State's eccentric senior safety, but something he deemed necessary leading into Saturday's game against Oregon.

Cox started the season's first four games, but was replaced heading into the California game by Clint Floyd.

Floyd suffered a lacerated kidney against USC, giving Cox a second shot at taking hold of the starting spot opposite Troy Nolan.

"I should be (the starter), but actions speak louder than words," Cox said. "I'm just going to come out Saturday, play hard and read my keys, and do what I know I can do."

Cox is tied for eighth on the team with 18 tackles, averaging three per game, and is tied for the team lead with three pass breakups.

Cox said losing the job served as motivation, and he has been preparing patiently this week to make his impact.

"This is like baking a cake," Cox said. "I'm putting all the ingredients together, and Saturday will be the finishing touch."

Cox will likely start, while Jarrell Holman and Ryan McFoy should see action. Max Tabach (torn ACL) is out for the season, forcing Erickson to move McFoy from his linebacker spot into the secondary.

True freshman Keelan Johnson again saw second-team action on Wednesday, but he hasn't played this season and ASU would like to keep his redshirt.

STAYING POSITIVE

Coach Dennis Erickson has been pleased with the mood at practice for the last week and a half, but said it's not the team's mental state that dictates wins and losses.

"Their mentality's fine, the problem is we have to execute better and play better," Erickson said. "If we can do that, we have a chance to win games."

RUDY PROGRESSING

Quarterback Rudy Carpenter practiced and looked good, Erickson said.

His availability was in question leading up to the USC game, and he left in the third quarter after limping around noticeably on his broken ankle.

"He was better (Wednesday)," he said. "It's the first time I've seen him get some steam on the ball like he had before he was hurt. That will continue to get better now."

EXTRA POINT

Defensive end Dexter Davis participated in the majority of practice. He was limited Tuesday because of sickness.

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