ASU coach Todd Graham: Ball security will be the key to measuring the offense's success
The good news for Todd Graham is that the team's leading passer (Taylor Kelly), rusher (Marion Grice, who split time with Cameron Marshall and D.J. Foster) and receiver (Chris Coyle) from a season ago are still in the fold.
The bad news, is that the trio was also part of a unit that gave the ball away 1.9 times per game in 2012 -- good for seventh-best in the conference.
It's an area Graham hopes will also look quite a bit different when ASU takes the field starting Thursday night against Sacramento State.
"If we can go through this football season and not turn the ball over, I think we can win every game," Graham said Monday. "That's pretty hard to do."
The second-year ASU coach noted that recent practices in preparation for the Hornets have him concerned about the offense's ability to limit turnovers on a consistent basis.
Sunday he said was the best offensive practice he's seen since coming to Tempe. However, Monday's practice was marred by sloppy play and giveaways.
"That's going to be the key, being consistent there," said Graham. "We practice right now better than any day we did last year. But it's still not where it needs to be."
While an absence of consistency might be noticeable for the offense as it goes into the 2013 season opener, the Sun Devils' new personnel might be a cause for optimism as the season progresses.
"I think our receiving corps is better than it was last year," said Graham. "I think we have a lot better weapons in the run game and in the pass game. We have bigger-framed guys like Jaelen [Strong] and Joe [Morris] who are 6-foot-5 and 205 or 215-pound guys that help us.
"I think Chris Coyle is better. D.J. [Foster] is the one I've seen the greatest jump in how much better he is than last year. I do think Taylor [Kelly] has matured. The key in how we're going to measure that is one thing: ball security."
Dave Dulberg, Web Content Editor - ArizonaSports.com
- ESPN ranks ASU's Taylor Kelly and Jaelen Strong among top 100 players in college football
- ASU coach Todd Graham excited for Taylor Kelly and offense's potential in 2014
- Arizona State coach Todd Graham confident defense will be fine
- Michael Crow and Larry Scott agree that change needs to happen
- ASU president Michael Crow: compensate coaches on performance
- Dr. Michael Crow, ASU president - Wednesday July 23ASU president Dr. Michael Crow is this week’s guest on the Fork Report.
- Adam Archuleta, former ASU & NFL defensive back - Wednesday July 16Former ASU & NFL DB Adam Archuleta is the guest on this week’s ASU Fork Report.
- Darren Woodson, former Sun Devil & NFL defensive back - Wednesday July 9Former Sun Devil DB Darren Woodson shares his thoughts on ASU football.
- Herb Sendek- ASU men's bball coach - Wednesday June 25ASU men's basketball coach Herb Sendek talks Sun Devil basketball and the NBA Draft.
- Fran Fraschilla- ESPN college basketball insider - Friday June 20ESPN College basketball insider Fran Fraschilla joins the show to discuss the 2014 NBA Draft.