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ASU Football: 5 takeaways from the Sun Devil victory over Cal Poly

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What stood out in ASU's 35-21 victory over Cal Poly?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

While it wasn't the result that many fans wanted, a win is a win. The Sun Devils now sit at 1-1 on the young season as they turn their attention to the New Mexico Lobos. Before we look ahead, let's take one final look back at Cal Poly with our five takeaways from the game.

1. The Sun Devils aren't concerned: This isn't really a takeaway from the actual game as it is a takeaway from the postgame press conference. When the four ASU players (Longino, Simone, Bercovici and Richard) and Todd Graham spoke to the media late Saturday night, the mood was surprisingly light.

Graham did not call out his team, or apologize to the fan base for his team's performance. It seemed as if Graham knew that every once in a while, ASU will have to grind out a victory when they don't play their best. Graham was asked about Mike Bercovici and said he's doing just fine, spoke highly of the communication between the offensive coaches and there was no sense of urgency after the defeat of Cal Poly.

At the end of the day, Graham knows how good this team is and he knows they haven't played up to their potential so far this season. The Sun Devils have one game to fix the errors before they welcome USC on Sept. 26.

2. The departure of Bo Graham has had more of an impact than originally thought: The departure of Bo Graham hasn't been discussed in a few weeks as most have moved on. That was until the elder Graham brought up his son Saturday night in his postgame press conference. Some eyebrows were raised when it was reported pregame that Mike Norvell would be calling plays from the booth, a first for him in his time at ASU. Here is what Todd Graham had to say about Norvell and Bo Graham.

Bo had a lot of experience, almost 20 years out there. Every year Mike and him have been partners. That change was really difficult for us. Last week we felt like he couldn't really see and couldn't get the information he wanted. I think that's the way we are going to do it.

Most just assumed with all the talent that ASU boasted in the backfield, they would be ok losing their position coach. However, they (including this writer) failed to look at how it would affect the offense as a whole. Bo Graham sat up in the press box and relayed observations about the opponent's defensive scheme and positioning to Norvell. This would impact Norvell's playcalling. With Bo Graham gone, Norvell will call plays from the press box for the rest of season.

3. Something is still missing on offense: More specifically, something is missing in the passing game. Bercovici had a fine game statistically, 23-for-35 for 283 yards and three touchdowns, but the big play is missing. With Cameron Smith injured and Jaelen Strong at the next level, the Sun Devils are missing a downfield threat. Gary Chambers was the only wide receiver last night to average more than 12 yards per catch.

ASU has a difficult time attacking a defense vertically in two games this season, choosing instead for passing plays of around 10-15 yards. There is nothing wrong with this, however against tougher competition it becomes more challenging to sustain long drives for an entire game. You aren't going to sustain a lot of 10-play, 80-yard drives against USC.

The season is still young and Bercovici is still familiarizing himself with his new targets but thus far the offense lacks explosive plays in the passing game.

4. The Sun Devils miss Kalen Ballage: This takeaway is pretty obvious. Ballage came on late in 2014 and was prime for a breakout 2015 in the ASU backfield alongside Demario Richard. A fluke illness has sidelined him for the time being and the Sun Devils are missing his presence. The absence of Ballage was magnified when 'Gump' Hayes went down with a hamstring injury Saturday night.

With Ballage and Hayes out and the coaching staff not wanting to burn Jason Lewis' redshirt, D.J. Foster moved to the backfield, carrying the ball 12 times for 76 yards against Cal Poly.

While this improves the explosiveness in the backfield, it takes away form the receivers. The main reason that Foster was moved to receiver was because the coaching staff felt good about their depth in the backfield. With Ballage missing, that depth is being tested.

5. Tim White is a difference maker: After missing the Texas A&M game with a hand injury, receiver Tim White was shutout in the first three quarters against Cal Poly. The redshirt junior made his presence felt in the final 15 minutes, with two catches for 23 yards and a touchdown, a 59-yard run and filling in on punt returns.

White has received praise from everybody who has seen him in practice and if it was not for that hand injury, White is probably starting at wide receiver. As he continues to get healthy, expect to see White featured more in the ASU offense.