Offense bounces back on Tuesday

While Tuesday was a day dedicated in large part to the new Sun Devil re-branding, the team still had an afternoon practice session to prepare for while the hullabaloo took place on campus. And after Saturday's dominating effort by the defense in scrimmage, the offense was looking to even the score.

Brock Osweiler led the charge on Tuesday as the offense turned in one of its better performances of the spring. The junior quarterback completed scoring passes to JJ Holliday and Jamal Miles, while also displaying a mastery of the passing game both on short passes and deep strikes.

"It was better, offensively, than it was on Saturday," said head coach Dennis Erickson. "The execution was a lot better. Defensively, it's typical to dominate a scrimmage on Saturday and then come out on Tuesday and be a little lazy. That's kind of what happened to us defensively.

"I thought Brock looked real sharp. I thought George (Bell) caught the ball well. We made progress."

In an effort to keep the defense honest and help rejuvenate the Sun Devil offensive attack, the coaching staff implemented some new looks to the offense today. The result was a much more balanced and vertical attack that allowed Sun Devil receivers to challenge the young secondary with their speed.

"We added some stuff offensively in our passing game that I think will help against what our defense is doing against us," commented Erickson. "We added some deep stuff off some play-action passes against certain coverages that people play. And then some other, shorter stuff off some things that we've been doing."

With just four of practices remaining this spring before the annual scrimmage, the Sun Devil coach says the team still hasn't added much to the offense and that the staff will likely sprinkle more into the arsenal as the week progresses. While injuries have limited some of what the Sun Devils have been able to do on the field together, it has also served as good practice time for some of the younger players trying to get up to speed.

"We don't have a lot in; we've actually probably got less than we did last spring," remarked Erickson. "We put some more stuff in today, like I said, with some crossing routes in our passing game and some different things that we had in last year. It'll make a difference. We'll have probably at the end almost most of our offense in; almost 90 percent."

Despite trying to remain focused on what he needs to do to prepare his team for the last few practices this spring, even coach Erickson was unable to escape the buzz surrounding the new uniforms unveiled today at the Memorial Union. And while fashion isn't his primary concern, even he sees the potential in ASU's new threads.

"I think it's great," said the coach. "Our marketing people and Nike worked real hard to develop that. And how they've done it was professional as heck. It's exciting for everybody, our players in particular.

"Again, as we get into this stuff, I haven't spent very much time thinking about it, to be honest with you. But our players are excited for it, and that's the most important thing. And I know the other athletes on campus are too, with the things that they've got."

Despite his perceived lack of interest in the new uniforms, Erickson is well aware of the impact they may have for his program. In an innovative and evolving sport like college football, the battle to reach the top often requires having the players to compete with the best. And Erickson isn't naive enough to think these new, edgy uniforms won't help him pique some future recruit's interest.

"I think it'll have a tremendous impact on recruiting, no question about it," he reflected. "Young guys are out there and they like to see new things. It's just the nature of football and the nature of life.

"Younger people like that sort of stuff. So I think it's very, very important for us to stay up and do new things. Those guys watch TV, and I don't care what anyone says, if they see a new look, uniform-wise, they pay attention."


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