No clear winner emerges today at QB

Dennis Erickson and the rest of the Arizona State coaching staff were hopeful that after today's scrimmage they would be left with an obvious choice at starting quarterback. They weren't. Both junior Steven Threet and sophomore Brock Osweiler had similar stats in Saturday's morning scrimmage as the decision on a starting caller is expected to come in the next couple of days.

Steven Threet completed 9 of 15 passes for 97 yards. He scored on the offense's first possession of the game on a one-yard keeper.

"It was a read of the defensive end," Threet said of his touchdown, "and he took the back and that puts me really one on zero with the lead blocker and I just had to take that from the one yard line."

Not to be out done, sophomore Brock Osweiler 9 out of 14 for 79 and one touchdown pass to Kerry Taylor for 19 yards in the corner of the end zone. Osweiler rifled the pigskin downfield and over the coverage from deep in the pocket. The young signal finished the play with one of his trademark loud and expressive celebrations.

"It was a great feeling to finally get that touchdown," Osweiler confessed. "That was a route combination that I think I've yet to complete just this whole fall camp. To finally complete it and have it be a touchdown in the scrimmage was huge. I'm happy but we definitely have to build upon it and keep getting better."

Those were the only touchdowns the offense would score. The defense, as expected, was stout. Osweiler wasn't overly frustrated by the strong performance of the other side of the ball and found other positives to draw upon.

"We ran the ball pretty well," Osweiler remarked. "Our offensive line did a pretty good job of pass protecting. Our receivers were getting open for the most part. We're kind of in a difficult situation right now. Our defense has seen us for three weeks straight and they know exactly what plays we're going to run. Considering that, I thought we did a pretty good job moving the football."

Threet's evaluation was terse, yet honest and confident.

"I think (the offense) has come along really well," Threet said. "We didn't run a whole lot today. We didn't show a whole lot but we were able to execute and I think that's great."

For Threet fall camp started slow. As a transfer first getting his chance to be the leader, he struggled in spring as well. But over the last ten days the Michigan native has shown some notable growth and development and was clearly the better quarterback in camp during that period.

"I think there is a big difference from spring to now," Threet commented. "We have had 22 practices this fall camp and it was really helpful to be able to practice every day and watch the film right afterwards and correct mistakes."

One receiver that was being targeted regularly by both quarterbacks was junior T.J. Simpson. By the end of the scrimmage Simpson had totaled four receptions for thirty-four yards.

"(Simpson) has done a great job," Threet noted. "He really came out in camp and battled back from his foot (injury). It had been bothering him and he didn't get to do much in the spring. He worked really hard in the summer on his routes, catching the ball, and I think he did a great job this camp of showing up every day and working hard and getting better."

Simpson and the rest of the Sun Devil receivers seem to be flourishing in first year offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone's system. The scheme is speed based, features the shotgun formation on almost every snap and creates a lot of open space for the receivers and running backs to make plays.

"I think Coach Mazzone calls it fast break on grass," Threet said. "We just try to get it to the open guys and let our skill players make plays. We have a tremendous amount of guys in the backfield and if we can get them in the open field they can do some damage."

With class already back in session and fall camp behind them, both quarterbacks are looking to take their game to the next level and secure that starting spot for opening night against Portland State.

"Everything in camp went pretty well," Osweiler commented. "The biggest thing is we just have to keep getting better and building upon that and come the rest of the season we'll be alright."


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