Communication, effort key to ASU defense
ASU leads the Pac-12 in pass defense (9th nationally), is second in scoring defense and third in total defense.
"Right now," senior associate head coach and co-defensive coordinator Paul Randolph said, "our will to work has been really good. Our commitment to each other has been really good. Our discipline as far as penalties has been really good.
"We're progressing the way we need to. By no stretch of the imagination are where we want to be. But we are moving in the right direction and that's really pleasing."
Randolph said he does not get caught up in the numbers.
Neither does senior linebacker Brandon Magee.
"I just want a win or a loss," he said. "I focus on the wins."
It is hard though not to focus on the numbers, especially when compared to last season. Maybe no stat illustrates that better than tackles for a loss (TFL).
After three games last year, the Sun Devils had 14 TFL for 78 total yards. Through three games this year, the Sun Devils have 29 TFL for 116 total yards.
"Communication," Magee said when asked for an explanation.
ASU has combined for 40 defensive plays that have been stopped for a loss or no gain. That means 17.9 percent of plays that the opponents have run this season have not advanced beyond the line of scrimmage.
"I mean communication is key in this defense," Magee continued, "because if you don't communicate with one guy, it's going to mess up the whole play.
"Communication and effort -- by far, I've never played on a defense that tried harder than this defense."
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