Erickson Says Offense Lacks Execution

On his 60th birthday, an offensive mastermind such as ASU Head Coach Dennis Erickson, couldn't be too happy with what he saw on this side of the ball. Then, again he claimed that this is all part of the growing pains of spring.

"We were very inconsistent on both side of the football," said Erickson of Saturday's scrimmage. "I thought the enthusiasm was obviously good. Defensively early in the scrimmage we ran around and made a lot of plays, and got some turnovers. On the other side of the coin, offensively we didn't execute like we need to. I thought we ran the ball pretty well at the end and made some plays in the passing game, but we turned the ball over too many times."

"The biggest difference in a game, the biggest statistic in football, is turnovers," Erickson continued. "Getting them on defense, giving them up on offense. You lose when you turn it over. That's something that can be easily changed. Early in the spring in the first scrimmage that's usually what happens."

Saturday was indeed all about the defense, and no one shined brighter on that group than safety Troy Nolan. The JC transfer from College of the Canyons injured his quad in the first week of last year's spring practice. Ultimately that injury affected his knee and forced him to redshirt in 2006 and prevented him from lining up with his fellow College of the Canyons transfer, cornerback Justin Tryon.

Nolan had a fine scrimmage, in which he had an interception and a forced fumble in back-to-back plays. "It was great," he said of the scrimmage. "I wanted to open some eyes…that's all I wanted to do. It was real important because coaches were waiting for me to see what I can do. I was sitting out here hurting (last year), and they wanted to see what I can do. It was good that I could show them what I could do for the first time."

Another reason for Nolan's rebirth is the new defensive system and his position coach Matt Lubick. "It's not as complicated," he said of the new scheme and how it affects the safeties. "For me, it was complicated last year, and I didn't grasp it. Probably because I wasn't out there playing. Being out there playing I'm grasping it easier…Coach Lubick is a good guy. He's really into it. He's out there every play chasing us, and running behind us, making sure we do everything. He's just great, he's a good coach. I like him…I like all the coaches."

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