Defense Strikes Back in Second Scrimmage

Every spring practice seems to have the pendulum of momentum constantly shift back and forth between offense and defense. Consequently, after the boys in maroon had their way in last week's scrimmage, it was time for payback and the white squad delivered in spades on Saturday afternoon.

"Pretty one-sided today," said head coach Dirk Koetter following the scrimmage. "The good ‘ol white shirts on defense got the best of them. Good to see for those guys' confidence…a lot of defensive players stepping up and making plays. The defensive front controlled the line of scrimmage, offense had a though time pass-protecting, and the defense got off to a fast start and carried it through all day. It was great to see for the defense, but it was disappointing for the offense. We should have better leadership on that side of the ball."

In terms of witnessing player development during spring practices, the Sun Devil skipper stated that many of the team members have shown their worth whether they're entrenched as starters or just players trying to make their mark. "You got guys all different levels," explained Koetter. "You have proven guys, guys trying to establish their role…we just talked (in the post-scrimmage huddle) that we're a much better team, and the deeper we are the better we are. We had some individuals step up: Tranell Morant had a great day today. He's hasn't really been able to do anything all spring, and that's what we hoped - that he'll be able to come in and be a playmaker for us on the edge. Our safeties are really playing well. Josh Barrett, Zach Catanese, Jeremy Payton, Rodney Cox…those guys are doing a real nice job everyday in spring. I'm real excited about Justin Tryon, Chris Baloney is starting to come around at corner."

Mike Nixon has been known for years as being a versatile player, and the safety/kicker added another role to his ever growing repertoire. "Today he played middle linebacker and made plays all over the field," commented Koetter. "He's on all our special teams. He's an older guy, he has a lot of savvy in him and he understands the game .The thing about Mike Nixon is that he's a ball player. He's an old fashioned ball player."

The running game had some shining moments, and the ASU head coach pointed to a Shaun DeWitty who has been consistently playing well during the spring. "That's two weeks in a row," stated Koetter. "Dewitty has continued to improve. Our running backs ran the ball hard, we just had so many bad plays on first down that we were constantly in second and long, third and long. This is total opposite than last week…that's the whole key to our offense – we gotta make yards on first down, and today we couldn't. So, the running backs didn't get to a chance to do what they're capable of. "

Aside from the players Koetter mentioned, Dexter Davis, Adam Vincent and Jordan Hill played well close to the line of scrimmage. Brandon Smith, Mike Jones and Jamaal Lewis had some nice catches in the passing game.

Unofficial Stats

Passing

Keller 12-25 112 yards TD
Carpenter 9-17 103 yards 2TD's

Rushing

DeWitty 8-59 TD
Herring 9-16
P.Jones 10-24
Gammage 8-25

Receiving

B.Smith 2-56 TD
Lewis 3-49
M.Jones 3-25
Z.Miller 2-14
Guthrie 2-8
Thompson 2-25
McGaha 2-15
Pettes 2-8 TD
Herring 1-27 TD
Burgess 1-3

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