After two straight losses, the ASU Sun Devils are still coping and comprehending.
"A loss like that really hurts," linebacker Brandon Magee said on Tuesday. "We've just got to learn from it and we've got to learn how to put teams away on defense, especially when you're up like that."
The senior captain was talking about losing a late lead and the game against UCLA. But then Magee started talking about losing something else – fan support.
"Some of our fans don't even believe in us as a team anymore," Magee continued. "They think that we're going to fall into the same season as last year. I find that kind of ridiculous."
If the college experience revolves around learning life's lessons on campus before you enter the real world, the Sun Devils are learning a real-life lesson about fandom.
Meaning, fan allegiance can fluctuate like an ASU football campaign – up & down. And sports fans can be like card sharks – now you see ‘em, now you don't.
"I think it's ridiculous," Magee said emphatically. "I mean, I go on Facebook and I see bad messages. I go on Twitter, I see bad stuff. I watch the news, I see bad stuff."
No doubt, ASU fans are frustrated and fear a repeat of the second half slide circa 2011. But, based on Magee, ASU players are saying " We're frustrated that you're frustrated!"
"It's like 'gosh dang?!' Where's the support at?" asked Magee. "Y'all was with us when we were winning. We started losing and y'all just go away. But it's cool."
Actually, if it wasn't for the TV cameras, we're guessing that Magee probably would've uttered another 4-letter word besides "cool" as punctuation.
Then again, maybe it is cool. If ASU is celebrating a win at Oregon State on Saturday night, a motivated Magee and his teammates might be saying something else to Sun Devil Nation: "Thank you."