Q&A with Coach Bill Miller

The Sun Devil defense gave up some big plays in the air, but did a formidable job containing Cal's ground attack. Devils Digest sits down with ASU's Defensive Coordinator Bill Miller for our weekly update of the Devils' D.

Devils Digest: What made the run defense successful against Cal?

Bill Miller: "They still had some yardage but I thought for the most part we did a good job. We tackled well and perused really well, we just gave up too many big plays in the sudden change situations."

Devils Digest: What do you attribute the difficulties in rushing the passer against Cal?

Bill Miller: "I know people look at sacks, but number one they got rid of the ball really fast and maximum protected. He (Cal QB Nate Longshore) probably got us out of off man pressure stuff with some things they did early and I didn't do a good job as I said after the game. I think we needed to counter that with some other ways to pressure, and I don't think I did as good as a job as I needed to, particularly in that six-play stretch where there were three touchdowns scored and two of them were obviously in sudden change situations. If we make a stop or hold them to a field goal we have a chance to gain momentum, and it makes it a different ball game. We didn't do that and that's what we have to do."

DD: With the defense shutting out Cal in the second half, is that good momentum for this group heading into the Oregon game?

BM: "It needs to be. This is a great football team coming in here they have a good quarterback and running backs. They have an offense style that is wide open."

DD: With a spread offense like Oregon coming in this week, what challenges will the defense face?

BM: "Just like it says, this offense spreads you out and makes your players make open field tackles. It's hard to out number them in the box, with all those wide receivers in this type of offense. You have to put enough people out to ensure you have enough coverage, and then try to get people down there to play run defense. It's like a double-edged sword."

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