Ball control will be key for Arizona State football
The team coughed the ball up 23 times last year (13 interceptions, 10 fumbles), meaning 23 times the team's explosive offense gave up a chance put points on the board.
New head coach Todd Graham said the team had issues with interceptions in the first fall practice Friday at the Kajikawa Football practice fields in Tempe.
"If we take care of the ball on offense we're going to score points," he said.
It could be that simple.
It could also be a tricky proposition.
Graham said his quarterbacks threw too many interceptions Friday, an issue that could be attributed to inexperience maybe as much as rust.
Sophomore Mike Bercovici, who many think will be the team's starter in the August 30 opener against Northern Arizona, admitted to throwing one pick on the day. He knows he must improve.
"Coach talks about just owning the ball," he said. "The starting quarterback is going to be somebody who can own the football."
The starting quarterback will be one of Bercovici, redshirt freshman Michael Eubank or redshirt sophomore Taylor Kelly, none of whom have played any significant snaps at the collegiate level.
That kind of inexperience could lead to the very mistakes Graham is hoping to avoid, but it's something the team will have to work through.
To his credit, Bercovici said he's ready to take charge of the team.
"I'm a natural leader in everything I do," he said. "Whether it's homework, whether it's just walking around campus.
"I feel like ever since I've grown up I'm ready for this job."
The job isn't his yet, but the work he puts in over the next month will go a long way towards determining if he gets the first crack at replacing Brock Osweiler.
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