"I think we are better than we have played," Erickson noted. "Defensively against Washington and against Oregon State and Oregon in the second half we played like we are capable of. The difference is that we didn't give up the big plays (against Washington) like we did in the two games that we lost and that's going to be a real key for us. We have a new six-game season and we have to be better."
When speaking of the offense, the ASU head coach recognizes the progress as well as the shortcomings of this group.
"The productivity as far as points isn't as good as I'd like to have them," Erickson commented. "The offense in general and what has been done from one year to the next is pretty amazing to me. When I say that, we have been able to score points and been able to move the football with a lot of consistency Obviously, I'm disappointed with the turnovers we had – that has really hurt us. We leave points out on the field which I hope we don't do the last half of the season."
"I definitely think they are some positives, some bright spots," said quarterback Steven Threet. "We were able to win three games but we definitely not where we want to be yet. We feel like there is a lot of improvement left if they guys that we have can get a lot better in the system and execute better."
Even when it comes to the bye week and the practices during that period, the results according to Erickson have been varied.
"Bye week practices are hard at times," Erickson said. "Depends on what day they (the players) decide that they won't go as hard and I think we had that on Wednesday. Tuesday was good and today (Thursday) was good. But we got some things done and we were able to work against Cal today and do some of the things that we may do a little different. They have tomorrow and Saturday to rest up and come back on Sunday and get ready for Cal."
Thursday's session was shorter than usual, but did however give a chance for the scout team players to strut their skills as they lined up against each other. Running backs Marcus Washington and Taylor Walstad, as well as wide receiver Kevin Ozier were some of the standouts during the abbreviated scrimmage.
"They had a chance to go live," Erickson said of the scout team. "Being on the scout team gets a little old after a while. We can look at some video and then have them come on Sunday and look at the video themselves. This is a good time to have this at the middle of the season."