"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."
Erickson Says Offense Lacks Execution
Sun Devil Source Top Stories
Q&A with ASU assistant Shawn SlocumShawn Slocum oversaw one of the best special teams turnovers in a two year period of any program in the country the last couple years at Arizona State. He also coached outside…
Sun Devil SourceYesterday at 5:08 PM
Spring primer: Arizona State wide receiversLed by sophomore N'Keal Harry, Arizona State's wide receiver corps boasts plenty of explosive young players eager to prove themselves under new position coach Rob Likens.
Sun Devil SourceYesterday at 9:39 AM
Ten players helped by ASU coaching changesWhich Arizona State players will see their standing improve in the transition to 2017 with Phil Bennett leading the team's defense, and Billy Napier coaching up the offense? Here's…
Sun Devil SourceYesterday at 8:39 AM
ASU shows fight in 83-82 win over USCArizona State snapped a two-game losing streak with the win on Sunday as it heads into its final regular season game of the year against No. 4 Arizona on Saturday.
Sun Devil SourceSunday at 6:29 PM