Saturday: Graham's scrimmage take

Todd Graham brought his team into its stadium and got the closest look yet at how prepared Arizona State is for its 2016 season opener.

Arizona State held a live scrimmaged in Sun Devil Stadium for the first time this season, with 140 plays including special teams. Sun Devil coach Todd Graham said he was pleased by the performance, especially by the first-teams. He indicated it was mostly the second-team against the first-team with some first-team versus the first-team. 

"I've never had any time that I didn't want more practice time, more prep time, but I'm ready to play," Graham said. "I'm ready to get out on the field and to let these guys compete. So much of what we're going to learn is going to be in the games. I think the offensive line has developed and is going to be a big big deal, taking care of our quarterback and making sure we don't have negatives. Ball security, that's something that's been positive. Obviously our quarterbacks, they've developed. You won't know until you get out there and the bullets start flying. I feel good about receivers, I feel good about tight end development, I feel good about our offensive line, I feel good about each area."

When asked about quarterbacks specifically Graham didn't reveal if one player out-performed the other. He did said that he wouldn't rule out playing both against Northern Arizona in the opener on Sept. 3. 

"We're not going to alternate series with the quarterbacks but if it's close enough it might be a deal where first series of the second quarter or something, or we have a package for each one, or we kind of see how it progresses.

"We are going to utilize our guys how we see fit. If we think we've got two quarterbacks who can help us win that's what we're going to do."

Graham said for the team's next practice, Tuesday, they'll have the depth chart more situated as they begin two weeks of prep for NAU.

No players were held out on the offense due to injury according to Graham, but about five were kept off the field on defense. In recent practices, sophomore defensive tackle JoJo Wicker, redshirt freshman defensive tackle George Lea, senior safety Laiu Moeakiola, and junior defensive back Maurice Chandler have been limited or non-participants. 

Regarding standouts from the scrimmage, Graham said he was mostly focused on game management and tempo but did reference several players. 

"I thought Tyler Whiley -- didn't he have a couple interceptions? -- I thought he did some nice things," Graham said. "We had some pressure on the quarterback with the 1s and Cameron Smith was, how many touchdowns did he score?" 

He and Stephon are competing there, Tyler and Cohl Cabral, giving Cabral more work at tackle. Long look at A.J. and Stephon

Sun Devil Source Top Stories