Threet gets the nod for season opener

An old football adage states that ‘the film doesn't lie.' This is why today Steven Threet was named as the team's starting quarterback by ASU head coach Dennis Erickson. The junior signal caller outperformed his competition in fall camp, especially in the latter half of that period to grab the reins as the Sun Devils host Portland State in their season opener on September 4th.

"We are going to start Steven Threet on Saturday against Portland State," said Arizona State had coach Dennis Erickson. "Brock Osweiler will play in that football game. In our decision-making it was just basically, he was the most consistent through all of fall camp although Brock had a great camp. This biggest thing is I saw great improvement from both of them and I feel like we've got to be strong with two of them so we're going to play them both and we'll see what happens.

"Steven will get the start against Portland State and we'll go from there."

Erickson stated that he expected to play Brick Osweiler this week and throughout the season. He was however non-committal regarding the possibility of employing a two-quarterback system.

"You've got to have two good ones," Erickson commented. "There isn't that much difference between the two to be honest with you. It wasn't a decision that you had to make, it was a good decision and I'm happy with either of the two. Both of them can win and be very successful for us."

Consistency throughout fall camp rather than Threet's overall college football experience was the biggest factor, according to Erickson, that determined his starting status.

"He's very competitive, he's very smart," Erickson said of Threet. "He understands the game. I guess when I talk about him I can almost talk about Brock at the same time. He gets the football out of his hand real quick, very accurate. Some of the things we're doing right now offensively requires that and he does that extremely well and his experience obviously. Seeing defenses and understanding, makes a big difference. And he is very athletic and can make things happen once he has to get a second chance so he's got a lot of good things going for him and as he continued to learn this offense he continued to get better and better all the time."

It's no secret that the 6-5 240 Steven Threet was pegged following at the end of last season to be the team's starting quarterback in 2010. He was and still is the most experienced player at his position on the squad and his performance on the scout team in 2009 didn't do anything to shaken the belief that Threet was poised to lead the maroon and gold in this upcoming campaign.

Alas, whatever self-assurance Threet had entering spring practice was disappearing quickly. Sophomore Brock Osweiler was playing at a torrid pace during the spring sessions while Threet, admittingly feeling the pressure of the expectations couldn't match the underclassmen's play until later that period.

At the end of spring Osweiler wasn't leading Threet by a country mile but suffice to say that at the start of fall camp it was likely that the starting role was Osweiler's to lose…and he did…bringing the quarterback battle full circle from earlier this year. Early on in camp Samson Szakacsy provided a stiff challenge in the QB race, but faded in recent weeks.

"I definitely feel more confident in the offense now than I did earlier in camp," Threet confessed in a previous interview. "We had 24 practices and it was good to work through the mistakes, keep on getting reps and keep on getting better. That's what it takes."

Threet noted that trusting his reads was the trait he noticed the biggest improvement in from the beginning of camp until now.

"I'm letting the offense come to me," Threet explained, "instead of trying to always make plays and force the ball in. I'm sitting back and just dealing it out."

As a redshirt freshman at the University of Michigan Threet played in 11 games, with eight starts, and led the Wolverines with 1,105 passing yards while completing 51 percent of his pass attempts. He threw for nine touchdowns and seven interceptions, and also ran for 201 yards on 76 carries and scored two rushing touchdowns in the 2008 season.

The Adrain, Mich. committed to Georgia Tech out of high school, enrolled early with the Yellow Jackets and participated in the team's spring practice. A change of offensive scheme there (going to the option) prompted Threet to transfer to his hometown school.

Ironically, once at Michigan he was faced with another change in the offensive system. Threet didn't feel comfortable running the spread offense scheme that was being implemented by then first-year Michigan head coach Rich Rodriguez, and that ultimately prompted him to transfer to ASU.

Some may find it ironic that these days the signal caller is guiding a spread offense again, a structure being implemented by ASU's first-year offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. However, it should be noted that while both schemes here and at Michigan share some common concepts they are not mirror images of each other.

"There are some similarities in some of the plays that we run," Threet commented, "especially in the running game. But we throw the ball a lot more here and I don't run the ball quite as much as I did at Michigan. So there are some differences but ultimately everybody is just trying to score."

Erickson said that he doesn't foresee the proverbial quarterback controversy taking place where either Osweiler and/or Szakacsy will eventually transfer.

"That would be a shock if that happened at all," Erickson said. "The two that I'm talking about, they're both in it with this football team and like I said we've got a real good young one that is a true freshman (Taylor Kelly) that I like. You won't see that happen and as time goes on there are things that can happen.

"With Brock as we go through the season, he could end up playing, Steve could get hurt, and there could be a lot of things that could happen. But their attitude when we talked to them was, all we want to do is win and get things going in the right direction."

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