TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona State Sun Devils participated in a scrimmage on Wednesday during their eighth spring practice of the year. The session was closed to the public as well as the media.
Head coach Todd Graham, who was made available afterwards and spoke with media, said the first-team offense and defense performed 50 plays against one another, and the second-team units repped the same amount, while the third-team units worked through 20 plays.
Graham then addressed a series of topics surrounding the progress of his team.
“Our tempo is a little bit slower than where we want it to be,” he said, "but that’s expected. Our tempo is a deal we’re going to continue to increase.”
The sixth-year coach said ASU is implementing an offensive scheme similar to the one initially employed when he first arrived, particularly involving the use of 11 personnel and two-back sets which incorporate a run-first approach supplemented by a play-action passing game.
As for who will be directing the offense from under center, Graham said Manny Wilkins and Blake Barnett — the favorites to win the starting quarterback job — garnered “the majority” of first-team reps.
“They did good,” he said, before further expanding on the signal-callers’ performances.
“Manny has such a command of what we’re doing,” Graham said. “He knows our offense, and understands how to operate. He controls cadence. I like how he operated You can tell he’s a veteran.”
Graham added Wilkins had clean day, not turning the ball over during the session. Barnett threw an interception, but did “have some nice things, had some nice throws.”
One thing Graham was certainly happy with was his team’s ability to generate explosive plays and avoid committing penalties.
“We were fairly clean,” Graham said. “A lot better than you would expect from the first scrimmage as far as penalties.”
ASU will participate in its ninth spring practice on Friday at 8 a.m. inside of Sun Devil Stadium. The session, as all are, will not be open to the public.
The spring slate will conclude on Saturday, April 15, when the Sun Devils will hold their spring game at 2 p.m. from Sun Devil Stadium.