61-36 was the score. Sound good for the offense, right?
You would think that, except that the score indicated what the defense did to the offense.
In truth, the offense scored one touchdown and three Thomas Weber field goals.
The defense had one score, a Clint Floyd interception for a touchdown.
The actual score was the result of a different scoring system (necessitated by not having enough offensive linemen to field two full teams.) Instead of a first team vs. second team, the offense and defense received points rewarding them for accomplishing certain things.
Offense was awarded a point for every first down, two points for a play over 30 yards and the usual points for scoring.
The defense got one for forcing a punting situation, two for forcing a three-and-out, three for coming up with a turnover, and nine for scoring a touchdown.
I was at the game with my buddies, and the one thing that I couldn’t quite decide was if what I was seeing was a good thing. I’m already on the record for saying that I think that the Sun Devil offense will be improved .
Coach Dennis Erickson likes what he is seeing on offense and believes the defense could be even better than last year.
But the offensive troubles during the game gave me mixed feelings.
Is the defense really that good or is the offense that bad (again?)
I’m still thinking more optimistically.
I have seen enough in the previous scrimmages to see that this year’s offense is markedly better than last year’s.
The offense has been able to move the ball against their defense, at it will likely be the best defense it will face all season. There are, however, still some issues.
Neither Stephen Threet nor Brock Osweiler has established himself as the favorite for the starting QB job.
Osweiler likes to throw the deep ball, but is inconsistent in his accuracy. Both could do a better jobs in their reads and making play-making throws (too many throws at receivers’ feet or behind them.) It is only the spring, though.
There are still too many dropped passes. The running game has yet to emerge in practice, although Cameron Marshall has shown he has the potential to be solid and Jamal Miles will provide a few dynamic plays, if not also some head scratching ones.
Again, is this because the defense just is dazzling or because the running game stinks? I still lean towards the former.
ASU’s defense has a goal to be the best in the country. I believe this to be possible, especially if the offense can move the ball at all and allow the defense to rest at least a little more than last season. I think this is going to happen.
So how do I feel after the defensive beat down? A little uneasy. But beyond that uneasiness is also an unbridled excitement about what could be a surprising, exciting season. I remain optimistic. I can’t wait for the real season.
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