Q&A with Coach Bill Miller

Compared to ASU's first two Pac-10 games, it was a better showing, defensively speaking, against USC. In fact, the Devils limited USC to their lowest offensive output in six years. Defensive coordinator Bill Miller talks about last week's game and ASU's next opponent - Stanford.

Devils Digest: Coach, the USC game was a tale of two halves for the defense. After giving up 21 points in the first, your group gave up just seven in the second. How would you assess the defensive performance last Saturday?

Bill Miller: "We're not into moral victories or anything like. We got beat. We couldn't stop them in the last drive, and that's the bottom line of the whole darn thing…they were a lot of good things to build on, but we got beat."

Devils Digest: What were those good things in specific?

Bill Miller: "I thought we tackled well most of the game. We made plays and really pursued like we really wanted to pursue. We competed, particularly after being down 21 points, and preformed like we needed to perform to beat a team like USC. The margin of error when playing a team like USC is minimal. It makes those mistakes look huge, when you make them against a good team."

Devils Digest: There seems to be a trend lately of the defense playing better in the second half than they do in the first. Would you attribute that to halftime adjustments?

Bill Miller: "Oh, I don't know about that…I think the guys listen to us and correct things when we asked them to. We just gotta play four quarters consistently, and we have to do it this week for sure."

Devils Digest: Linebackers Gerald Munns and Travis Goethel played very well against USC. How would you rate their performance?

Bill Miller: "They really did some good things. They're very young guys, so obviously they'll still make mistakes out there. But they're making progress."

Devils Digest: At the halfway mark of the season, do you think the defense is playing better against the run or the pass?

Bill Miller: "We're not anywhere where we need to be in either department, quite frankly. In the beginning of the year we said we're gonna get out and get better every week, and we did so last Saturday. I'm darn sure we didn't do that the week before. We have to continue and get better."

Devils Digest: You're obviously not taking Stanford lightly, despite their struggles on offense…

Bill Miller: "They're a Pac-10 football team that beat us last year. That's all I need to tell you."

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