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Erickson knows Sun Devils must improve

The record may be perfect, but Arizona State is far from a perfect football team.

Dennis Erickson, during his weekly Monday press conference, said they were “fortunate” to beat Missouri last Friday night.

Sure there were points left out on the field: from the missed field goal to the blocked extra point that Erickson said “had nothing to do with protection (Alex Garoutte) just kicked it really low.”

There were also the penalties: 12 for 110 yards. “Were there too many? Heck yeah, there were too many,” explained Erickson, whose team was last in the conference and 113th nationally in that category last season. “We don’t want that many.”

None of the above sat well with Erickson, but what was most troubling to the head coach as he looked back at the film was how his team tackled. “We tackled very poorly. Normally we don’t tackle like that. We’ve tackled very well in camp. We tackled very well in the spring.

“I really don’t have an answer other than we’re better than that. We just got to be under control and get people to the football. That’s what tackling is all about.”

Erickson continued.

“It wasn’t our best football game defensively by any means,” he said, “but we made a stop when we had to.”

The coach was referring to the overtime fourth down stop of Missouri, clinching the 37-30 victory and a perfect 2-0 start to the season.