There’s nothing more painful than seeing an explosive play called back by a penalty. That was the theme of the ASU football team’s first two-a-day practice this fall.
“We have such big-play capabilities, you don’t want to have 70-yard touchdowns called back,” coach Todd Graham said.
The Sun Devils were one of the least penalized teams in the country in 2012 giving up only 34.9 penalty yards per game (No. 10 nationally), but Graham said reducing penalties, especially for the newcomers, is still a goal.
“You gotta hammer that in their head,” Graham said. “You’ll see when they do get a penalty I’m pretty animated about it … We just want to minimize as many of those errors as we can.”
Middlebrooks sheds no-contact jersey
School may be just about to start but senior running back Kyle Middlebrooks has graduated from his green no-contact jersey.
The versatile Middlebrooks has been wearing a green no-contact jersey since spring camp after tearing his ACL against UA last year, but he is now being phased back into the lineup during full contact practice.
“It’s just all about getting confidence now,” Middlebrooks said. “You still feel little things here and there but it’s all about getting confident.”
After being away from contact for so long, Middlebrooks said he is glad to be joining his teammates again in full practice.
“It feels like my normal self again,” Middlebrooks said. “When you’re a green jersey you kind of feel like an outcast a little bit just because you can’t do everything. But now that (I’m) back in the maroon, it feels good.”
- Graham said he was happier with the way his defense played in the second practice of the day. “The defense today came back and dominated this practice so I guess that’s a good sign,” he said.
- Redshirt sophomore Mike Bercovici appears to be ahead of fellow redshirt sophomore Michael Eubank for the backup quarterback job, Graham said.
- The depth of the offensive line appears to be improving. Graham said he noticed marked improvement in redshirt freshman Stephon McCray, sophomore Evan Goodman and redshirt junior Sil Ajawara.
- Redshirt senior Robert Nelson moved from cornerback to safety earlier Monday morning and appears to be picking up the position quickly.