Offense Scores Three TD's in Scrimmage

For the most of Saturday's afternoon scrimmage, it seemed as if the Sun Devil defense really had their way. Yet, the final stats from today's session show the offense tallying 259 yards passing and 114 rushing, scoring three times via the air.

"It was a day defensively like I thought it was going to be," said Arizona State head coach Dennis Erickson. "We have a chance to be very, very good on defense. We have a lot of players coming back and a lot of depth. That is how we play and that is how we should play. We tackled well and ran to the football well. We have speed and I was happy.

"Offensively, I thought there were some good things. We are young offensively, we are young at quarterback. Obviously we made some mistakes, but there were some bright sides. Our offensive front is injured, but we have to look at the tape to see."

Quarterback Danny Sullivan continued to show why he is currently the clear cut starter at his position. The senior was 10-19 for 122 yards and two scores. His first touchdown took place in the early moments of the scrimmage, as his third throwing attempt finds Kyle Williams 10 yards down the field and the wide receiver tacked on 44 more yards after the catch to score a 54-yard touchdown.

Sullivan's second touchdown was a fade route to the corner of the end zone from three yards out to Kerry Taylor. Sullivan was pretty sharp today and at one time completed seven passes in a row.

Samson Szakacsy was able to complete just the shorter throws today, as he was 6-10 for 25 yards and 5-yard touchdown to Brandon Smith which ended the scrimmage.

Chasen Stangel entered took reps as the third string quarterback and was 4-7 for 36 yards. Brock Osweiler entered the scrimmage later than probably expected and finished 7-16 for 76 yards. He also threw the lone interception the day, which was caught by Ryan McFoy.

"They all had their moments," Erickson commented regarding the quarterbacks. "Danny did some good things. We missed too many throws. When someone is open we have to complete it. All four had their times and we will keep evaluating, nothing is etched in granite as to who will be our starter.

"All four of them are in the hunt. It wasn't Danny's best day today. Sam has had a good two weeks, but it wasn't his best day today. If I am not comfortable after the spring game I will carry it into the fall, we need the right guy under center."

Sullivan believes that competition helps him play well in the spring as he fights for that starting position. Having his doubters doesn't hurt his motivation either.

"I have a chip on my shoulder to prove to people that I can win this position," Sullivan stated. "Competition helps. It helps Samson, it helps Brock, and it helps Chase."

Sullivan feels that the offense is improving this spring and it has a new attitude that will lead to success. Nonetheless, he had no shortage of compliments to the other side of the ball.

"The potential is amazing," he said. "They are so fast on defense. That is the great part about a team; you get to practice against them every day."

Sullivan admitted that his performance today wasn't satisfying by any means. "I will be the first one to tell everyone that this wasn't my best day," he acknowledged. "It is just average for me. I showed some emotion out there. The first series was bad, but we picked it up in the second series. I missed too many easy throws today.

"I am very pleased with the last two weeks. I think I took a step forward to make my (starting) position solid. I can't take a step back because the competition is going to get stronger and stronger."

Sullivan who isn't known for his mobility had 10-yard run in the waning moments of the scrimmage. "I heard everyone one in the crowd after I broke the line of scrimmage yelling whoa. The D-Line called me ‘Vanilla Vick'. I think Coach Erickson shorted me ten yards by blowing the whistle."

Kyle Williams led all receivers with three catches for 62 yards, and Erickson expressed his content with the senior's performance.

"Kyle is a big play guy, ever since he has been here," Erickson noted. "The difference in Kyle now than two years ago is his maturity. He is making plays and is a leader, doesn't miss practice and plays hurt."

Dimitri Nance paced the running backs with nine carries for 34 yards, while James Morrison had ten carries for 22 yards. Even tough the offense passed the century mark rushing the ball; there was certainly the impression that the front seven did a solid job halting the ground attack.

"Our philosophy is we are going to come out and throw it," Erickson said. "We missed open guys and dropped balls. Eventually when that happens, a lot will open up running the ball."

Lawrence Guy led all defensive linemen with 2.5 tackles, linebacker Brandon Magee continued his impressive spring with 5.5 tackles today, and in the secondary Terell Carr registered three tackles and two pass deflections from his corner position.

"You don't win games or championships without good defense," Erickson explained. "We have recruited to that. The good teams over the years have been good on defense. That has to be our trademark. On offense we have good enough athletes to do good things. When you have good defense you can gamble more on offense and do different things."

At the midway point of spring practice Erickson feels that the Sun Devils are ahead than they were last year at this juncture.

"That might not be saying much, but we are," he said. "Again, we are young, we were young last year and probably younger this year. Young teams get better with time and we are going to continue to improve.

"We weren't physical last spring because we didn't scrimmage enough, that is my responsibility. We have been very physical in the two weeks."

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