Arizona State defensive back Jordan Clark knew when a leadership meeting was called Sunday morning good news wasn’t likely to follow. Neither he nor his teammates expected a self-imposed bowl ban for the year, though.

“It hurt,” he told reporters after Sunday’s practice.

“Obviously everybody’s upset about it. That’s something you aspire to. That’s everybody’s preseason goal is to win a championship and get to a bowl game. But ultimately our goal every week is to win every game we play. I’m just worried about Southern Utah. That’s where we shifted our focus. Nobody’s going to feel bad for us. We’re not going to feel bad for us. We’re ready to play football.”

Clark was on last year’s squad. He saw the season slip away from the Sun Devils and he had to go through a head coach being fired.

“For those of us that were on the team last year, this season has enough meaning,” he said. “There’s a lot of people we’ve got to play, a lot of people we’ve got to get back. So I’m not necessarily worried about a bowl game or a championship. We play all those same teams this year. I’m just ready to play football and compete.”

Clark had 47 tackles last season as one of the leaders on the defense. He enters 2023 — his fifth year — expected to be the same once again.

He said head coach Kenny Dillingham helped the team through the emotions of the day as best he could, but the locker room will also need that same example set by the leaders on the team like Clark.

“You can take a second to be upset about it but the season still has to get played,” he said. “All these teams are still on our schedule, so we’re just trying to win football games.”

ASU opens on Thursday at 7 p.m. PT.