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April 10, 2011Dropped passes and an inability to successfully run the football led Arizona State coach Dennis Erickson to describe the play of his offense as "unacceptable" following Saturday's scrimmage, which was moved inside the Dickey Dome due to rain.
Senior receiver George Bell had an early drop in the end zone on a well thrown ball by junior quarterback Brock Osweiler. Bell was clear of redshirt freshman cornerback Devan Spann by several yards but appeared to not adjust well to the football's arrival.
Bell had another drop on a more difficult opportunity and others receivers, including junior Jamal Miles and sophomore Jarrid Bryant.
Senior receiver Gerell Robinson made an impressive diving grab of a ball thrown by Osweiler by suffered a mild shoulder injury and did not return. With fellow seniors Mike Willie (shoulder) and Aaron Pflugrad (vertigo) also out, others were given an opportunity to shine.
Nobody did so more twith his opportunity than sophomore Kevin Ozier, who caught five balls for 121 yards and one touchdown, a 52-yard strike from freshman Michael Bercovici over the middle.
"My confidence is doing pretty good. I'm getting more confident with each practice so I feel that's good," Ozier said. "I've come a long way. I've gotten much faster, my routes are way crisper, I run better routes, and I work harder."
Ozier said that due to the nature of ASU's fast-paced offense, he expects he'll continue to get important reps to prove what he can do.
"I study my playbook, I know my plays and I work hard so I think if I step up and keep working hard I'll get a chance," Ozier said.
Ozier wasn't the only walk-on who had a solid showing, as one of three interceptions on the day was made by sophomore cornerback Harrison Evens, who is getting second-team reps due to injuries to senior Omar Bolden and junior Deveron Carr.
"I loved it," Evens said. "I don't like my teammates getting hurt but if someone goes down everyone has to pick up he slack. My mindset has always been to play as much as possible so with Omar out I get more reps now,"
"I just want to make sure I know the defense more thoroughly and work on my coverage schemes, my back peddle and things like that."
Erickson said Osweiler had a decent showing, with a few bad decisions on his 15 of 26 effort, which included 145 passing yards, but he attributed a lot of the credit to the defense.
"They completed a couple but we tackled pretty darn well, covered pretty darn well, so you lose a guy like (senior corner) Omar (Bolden), somebody has to step up and they're starting to step up," Erickson said.
ASU's run game was virtually non-existent, with the front seven running well to the football and filling gaps on the interior. Junior Cameron Marshall had six carries for three yards and sophomore Kyle Middlebrooks had three carries for four yards.
The first-team offensive line did a solid job protecting Osweiler even as it had a difficult time opening up running lanes. But the second team line was regularly abused, particularly on the right side, with junior Kyle Johnson at right tackle due to redshirt freshman Tyler Sulka missing the practice after having his hand cut in an accident Thursday night.
Senior reserve defensive end Derrall Anderson had a sack and tackle for loss, and sophomore linebacker Anthony Jones had an interception return for a touchdown on a throw from redshirt freshman Taylor Kelly and tackle for loss.
Redshirt freshman Alex Garoutte made field goals from 42 and 30 yards and missed from 47 and 30.