Q&A with Coach Bill Miller

ASU's defense has stepped up this season and is becoming a force to reckon with. With Pac-10 play fast approaching and following an outstanding performance against Colorado, the Sun Devils' defensive coordinator naturally has reasons to be pleased with his group.

Devils Digest: How pleased are you with the defense's performance thus far?

Bill Miller: "They have done some great things and this thing is just getting started. In the next three weeks and we will know a lot more in terms of what we got."

Devils Digest: What are the differences between this year's team and last years?

BM: "We have some different people out here number one. The ones that have returned have been in the system now for another year, and our focus is maybe a little more on specific things and with this year's repetition they're getting better."

DD: Loren Howard practiced today, but will he play at all on Saturday?

BM: "We'll have to wait and see…I don't know if he'll be a game time decision or not but we'll see if he can finish the week."

DD: The defense has defended the run well thus far. Do you have a game plan yet of how you will stop Cal's running back Marshawn Lynch?

BM: "Tackle him…get a lot of guys around him. He's a great back, and they have three great backs. They have a good offensive line, a great offensive system they play in, and we have our work cut out for us."

DD: Defense is playing two-deep across the board; does this take pressure off of you in games when players are tired in the forth quarter?

BM: "We are playing more guys and I think it's a good thing. It's good for them and good for everyone quite frankly."

DD: Beau Manutai has really stepped up on defense what can you say about his performance?

BM: "I think he's done a pretty good job. He had a real good ball game against Colorado. What we ask everyone on our D is let's improve every week and get better and I think he's a great example of that. He understands our system and we're counting on him to help."

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