Arizona State head coach Todd Graham is changing the starting lineup on defense for the second straight week. He slotted Solomon Means and Jordan Simone first on the depth chart at boundary corner and safety respectively in week one. Now he's opting for two other players against New Mexico.
"James (Johnson) will start at bandit but Simone will still probably play every other series," Graham said. "We've got a lot of compititon there."
Johnson is a redshirt freshman, but it was Simone, a redshirt junior, who got the start and recorded three tackles last week. The consecutive games with a turnover streak stopped at 29 straight for the Sun Devils last week, so Graham had good reason to try a different formula to see what works.
Graham went on to name freshman Armand Perry as the starting boundary corner for Saturday's contest and said Kweishi Brown and Chad Adams will get reps there as well.
Simone and Means were part of a secondary that allowed Billy Green to complete 14 of 29 passes for 156 yards and a touchdown to Shaydon Kehano. He finished with six catches for 99 yards, too many to give up to an FCS team. The good news for the maroon and gold is that they have enough depth at these positions to try different looks.
Graham added that everyone in the secondary is taking the situation very seriously
"There are a lot of options, I like that back there because there ain't nobody messing around because of the competition," Graham said. "We'll just kind of see how that goes."
- Carlos Mendoza is still in a green jersey but looking a lot better and is now jogging during team stretching. It seems as if he's come a long way from being on crutches two weeks ago.
- Defensive walkthrough: Linemen: Marcus Hardison- Jaxon Hood-Tashon Smallwood-Linebackers: Laiu Moeakiola (SPUR), Salamo Fiso (SAM), DJ Calhoun (WILL) Edmond Boateng (DEVIL). Corners: Lloyd Carrington, Armand Perry. Safeties: James Johnson, Damarious Randall.
- Marcus Ball still shadowing at SPUR linebacker. Kweishi Brown shadowed Armand Perry. Solomon Means shadowed Carrington
- Gump Hayes practiced with the scout team