Offense overcomes slow start in spring game

The first half of Arizona State's spring game was defined by defensive dominance, but the second period was an entire different story. The Sun Devil quarterbacks combined for five touchdown passes as the Maroon team prevailed over the Gold squad 24-22 in front of 6,386 fans Saturday morning at Sun Devil Stadium.

The Arizona State offense did score on its first drive, as Taylor Kelly completed 6 of 7 passes, followed by a 17-yard run by Marion Grice which set up his own one-yard score a play later. Yet, the offense failed to score on the next six drives, but more than made up for it in the second half.

That stanza started off with a 3-yard touchdown reception from Kelly to Chris Coyle, and the two connected later on a 13-yard score where Kelly also rushed in for the two-point conversion. The tight end concluded the scoring today catching a 31-yard score from Mike Bercovici. Michael Eubank had two touchdowns passes to Richard Smith for 25 yards and to walk-on Blake Covey for 15 yards.

Kelly finished the afternoon 15-21 for 126 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Stopping the run has been one aspect the defense has been called to improve upon during spring practice, and today this element was effective. The offense recorded 102 yards on the ground, with Grice leading the way posting 60 yards on 14 carries.

On the other hand, the defensive pass rush continued to shine as they recorded nine sacks with Davon Coleman pacing the team with three. Marlon Pollard recorded the lone interception of the game and Kipeli Koniseti recovered a fumble by Richard Smith.

On special teams, Jon Mora was good from 34 yards but both him and Garoutte each missed attempts from over 40 yards.

"We turned the football over too much," said head coach Todd Graham after the spring game. "I wanted to see 100% ball security, and seeing the defense getting plays. So either way it's not going to work out right. We were mostly doing two's against one's, but we ended doing one's against one's. I think our guys completed well. We have 120 plays, so it was a good scrimmage. We've gotten better as a football team, and the key is depth."

This year spring practices won't conclude with the spring game, as the team has two last sessions coming up this Tuesday and Thursday.

"I wanted us to focus on Pat's run," Graham explained, "and not have the spring game contradict with that, because I think that's important. We had two practices at the end to focus on a lot of situational things. Today's goal was to come out healthy, which we did."

Scrimmage Stats

Rushing

Marion Grice – 14-60, 1 TD

Marcus Washington – 5-40

Taylor Kelly – 6-16

Dante Alexander – 1-19

Terrell Davis – 4-10

Taylor Cohan – 2-6

Frederick Gammage - 1 - -6

Passing

Taylor Kelly - 15-21, 126 yards, 2 TD's, INT

Michael Eubank - 8-12, 88 yards, 2 TD

Mike Bercovici - 8-13, 114 yards, 1 TD

Taylor Cohan - 3-11, 20 yards

Receiving

Chris Coyle – 7-87, 3 TD's

Kevin Ozier – 7-75

Blake Covey – 4-46, TD

Richard Smith – 3-56, TD

Darwin Rogers – 3-34

Dan Groebner – 2-15

Alonzo Agwuenu – 2-6

Gary Chambers – 1-15

Byron Thomas – 1-9

Frederick Gammage – 1-9

Billy Davis – 1-5

Terrell Davis – 1-1

Marion Grice - 1 - -2 P> Defense

Sacks

Davon Coleman 3 Will Sutton 2 Carl Bradford, Salamo Fiso, Matthew Rowe and Gannon Conway each with one.

Marion Pollard one interception

Kipeli Koniseti fumble recovery Punting

Dom Vizzare – 6-272, 45.3 yards average. Four punts inside 20-yard line and one touchback.


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