VIDEO: Thomas Duarte on Offensive Issues

Oct. 5 -- Thomas Duarte gave us his thoughts on why the offense struggled against ASU on Saturday night...

Thomas Duarte:

In looking at the film, what did you see that was gumming up the offense in the first half?

We just never got in a rhythm. Execution wasn't there. It was just guys not doing their jobs. Like I said, execution on the plays. It takes everybody doing their job, so I feel that's where we didn't get rolling.

On the Rosen safety, it looked like you were all going four verticals. Was a receiver supposed to break off on his route?

No, that was a designed play. We all did our job, and unfortunately they got pressure to us and Josh had to throw the ball. Unfortunately, it was in the end zone, but what happened happened, and we'll fix it.

Did ASU throw a lot of heavy fronts at you?

No, not really. Maybe one or two that we haven't seen. But they brought a lot of pressure, they tried to get to Josh a lot. They crowded the box. They committed guys strictly for the run that we didn't think would strictly be for the run, and they were intent on not letting Paul run.

How do you counter that?

Just throw the ball. You work around it. You work your reads.

How did you develop such a good connection with Josh in the red zone?

Well, coming in, the coaches kind of told Josh, here are the guys you want to look out for. And then throughout practice, Josh and I have really worked on our connection in the red zone because we know how precious these points are. Jordan's been with him a lot too. He likes to score, and that's what we like out of a quarterback. He likes to throw the ball. In order to score, everybody has to do their job, like I said. We do our job on the receiver end, he does his job on the quarterback end, and that connection will be there.

Does Josh have the freedom to make audibles and switch things up at the line when you see stacked boxes?

Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn't. Sometimes they are just designed runs.

Noel Mazzone said after the game that he maybe got a little stubborn with the run. Was that something you guys sense as the game went on?

We pride ourselves on the running the ball, definitely. We have the experience up front with the line. We have the experience with Paul. We believe in him. We back him 100%. Whatever he does, that's what we believe in.

But when a team is so intent on taking it away, do you need to open that up?

A little bit, but we stuck to the game plan. That's what we wanted to do, we stuck with the game plan the whole game, and unfortunately they countered it.


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