After putting up 31 points in the first half, Arizona State hit a figurative wall, only mustering two second half touchdowns. The second half seemed to lack a lot of what Sun Devil fans have come to expect in terms of explosiveness. As a result, questions began to arise as to whether or not Arizona State put their best foot forward Thursday night against Weber State.
Head coach Todd Graham tried to address some of those concerns Sunday afternoon.
"Some of this is decisions that I have to make. It's 31-0 at halftime and I told Mike (Norvell) ‘you got to take the quarterback out'" Graham said. "Because I'm not going to get our quarterback hurt. I think the atmosphere, once you do that, it just creates that kind of (groans), okay let's get this game over with."
So the team wanted to be done because they had lost their leader under center. It's a delicate balance trying to decide what a comfortable lead is against an FCS team, but Graham felt good enough about his first team offense after two quarters. After a pooch punt and a field goal to begin the game, the Sun Devils scored a touchdown on four out of their next five drives. Graham said the team's attitude is somewhat out of his control but what he can control is his own personnel.
" I don't know how to fix that, but I know one thing, we're not putting our quarterback in when it's 31-0," Graham continued. "Then I was raising nine kinds of cane because number eight (D.J. Foster) was still in there when he ran that last touchdown. Because not that the game was over, but we were in pretty good shape."
- Carlos Mendoza remains in a green jersey with a leg injury. Ismael Murphy-Richardson is finally cleared to play and practiced today. De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes was not there but arrived in Tempe today per his Twitter account.
- 2015 defensive end Jalen Bates, a three-star recruit from Louisiana, was at practice today as part of his official visit to campus this weekend.
- Media did not see any 11 on 11 but Graham gave some description after practice. According to Graham, Armand Perry and Kweishi Brown were the first team boundary corners. Lloyd Carrington was first team field corner with Solomon Means backing him up. Jordan Simone was at second team field safety, while James Johnson and Marcus Ball were at boundary safety.
- Paul Crawford, a 6-foot-9 defensive end transfer from Florida International University has walked-on at ASU. Today was his first day of practice. He's every bit that tall, definitely a basketball player body type but still incredible to see a 6-foot-9 guy in pads.
- Graham on the Devilbacker (Antonio Longino and Edmond Boateng) play Thursday night: "We didn't do anything bad but we didn't do anything good," Graham said. "We've got to be a lot more active at the position."
- Graham on the new players: " I thought for the first time out? For nine new starters? Check. Good. Met expectations."
- Graham said he thought the wide receivers and linebackers were the two biggest bright spots Thursday night. As for the special teams play, Graham said it's just something they have to be better at next week and put this week behind them.