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Bowl opponents Boise State, Arizona State in transition

THURSDAY, DEC. 22, 2011

LAS VEGAS – The MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas wasn’t the send-off No. 8 Boise State originally imagined for Kellen Moore, college football’s winningest quarterback.

But coach Chris Petersen said the Broncos aren’t thinking about those expectations, their opinions of the BCS or a pending move to the Big East in 2013 as they prepare to play Arizona State tonight.

“We’re all about this game,” Petersen told reporters Wednesday before a luncheon in advance of the game. “We’ve kind of preached to our guys about living in the moment, and living day to day, so that’s just kind of how we think as coaches.”

Arizona State is taking the same approach after a season where both teams expected to finish by playing in a bigger bowl.

Finishing 6-6 with a four-game losing streak cost Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson his job, though he stayed on to coach his team in its first postseason appearance since 2007.

He said the prospect of being out at ASU won’t hit him until after the game.

“That’s all I’ve ever done,” Erickson said of being involved in football. “I couldn’t make any decisions on anything right now.”

At the luncheon, Erickson stifled tears as he reflected on his career and introduced his family, including his 87-year-old mother – who he said talked to him weekly after watching his games.

“Believe me, the last month of the season wasn’t very much fun,” Erickson said.

ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler said his team practiced and studied just as it had when it was winning earlier this year, but didn’t get the results the players wanted.

“I don’t really know what happened,” he said. “We’ve tried to put a finger on it over these last couple weeks, but we really can’t.”

Boise State, which finished 11-1 and seventh in the BCS standings, missed a bid to a larger bowl for the fourth time after being ranked among the BCS’ top 10.

“No issue. We’re over that whole deal,” Moore said.

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