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Football: Defense dominates scrimmage

 by Christopher Drexel
 published on Monday, April 12, 2004


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Unlike the majority of spring practice thus far, it was the ASU football team's defense that dominated during the second scrimmage of the season on Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.

Head coach Dirk Koetter planned to go about 40 plays with both the first and second teams, but because of a stifling effort by the defense, Koetter estimated the starting offense only got off about 32 plays, while the second team got about 38.

"Offensively, the plan was to come in and just try to run the ball and then do play action off of it. But the defense took us right out of that and turned it into a long yardage day, which is not what we wanted to work on," Koetter said.

Particularly impressive was the play of the defensive line, a unit thought to be a concern heading into the fall. Koetter was quick to name players that stood out to him such as defensive ends, junior Mike Talbot and senior Ishmael Thrower, as well as tackles, junior Josh Brayer and seniors Connor Banks and Gabe Reininger.

Senior Aaron Austin, a converted tight end, registered a sack, and senior cornerback R.J. Oliver pulled down an interception.

Senior quarterback Andrew Walter went only 2-for-14 for 30 yards and had at least five passes blatantly dropped by receivers. Sophomore Sam Keller threw 6-for-8 for 139 yards and two touchdowns.

Redshirt freshman wide receiver Rudy Burgess caught three balls for 95 yards including a 54-yard touchdown.

Reach the reporter at christopher.drexel@asu.edu.



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