ASU football uses night practice as prototype for gameday

Mike Bercovici places a football

Redshirt junior Mike Bercovici places a football for a kicker at a practice on Aug. 16 at Camp Tontozona. (Photo by Fabian Ardaya)

Saturday night, the Arizona State football team had its final night practice under the lights at Sun Devil Stadium.

Just five days away from the team’s opening game against Weber State, coach Todd Graham wanted to give his team a taste of game day.

“We ran through our entire game day procedure and when we warm up and how we warm up and what we do,” Graham said. “We talked about our Fridays, Saturday, everything we do, how I talk to them and all that stuff so it’s not the first time they go through it.”

With games starting soon, Graham wants his team to be as ready as possible not just physically, but in terms of their on-field maturity.

“The big thing is that we’ve got to continue maturing,” Graham said. “It’s going to be a process because we’ve got young guys who’ve got to mature in a hurry.”

Despite the need to mature, Graham said there were too many mental errors during practice.

“They’re tired of practicing so you get a little distracted and then too many mental errors by young guys today. Not just young guys, but newcomers, guys that are just now in the lineup, so that’s big.”

Sun Devils stick a fork in ALS through “Ice Bucket Challenge”:

Following the example of athletic director Ray Anderson and soccer coach Kevin Boyd, a group of players stuck around with Graham after practice to complete the ALS Ice Bucket challenge, which is often supplemented with a donation to aid research of what is also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Iconic figures across professional and collegiate sports have led the way in the movement to advance ALS awareness, both posting videos on social media of athletes and coaches accepting the challenges and in turn providing significant financial contributions.

According to a New York Times report, the challenges have raised more than $41 million for ALS research to date.

Redshirt seniors quarterback Taylor Kelly, defensive back Damarious Randall, tight end De’Marieya Nelson and offensive lineman Jamil Douglas are depicted in Douglas’ Instagram in uniform sitting with Graham in the Tillman Tunnel. The five were doused with chilled water.

 

Reach the reporter at mtonis@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Tonis_The_Tiger