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Sun Devils get defensive in the red zone

The “red zone.”

In football it’s described as the area between the 20-yard line and the goal of the defensive team. For the Arizona State football team it’s the area opponents have had very little success in.

“Obviously as you get down in the red zone the field shrinks so you can play a little tighter in pass coverage and maybe lay your ears back a little bit more,” said head coach Dennis Erickson.

Through four games this season the Sun Devils defense has allowed six touchdowns — four rushing scores and two passing scores — in 14 trips inside the red zone, fourth-best in the PAC-12.

“To me it’s about character and about want-to and understanding the situation, just making plays. We’ve been able to do that,” Erickson added. “I guess the old ‘bend but don’t break’ theory just so they don’t break my heart.”

USC last week traveled inside the ASU 20-yard line five times but came away with only one touchdown. And in two of their trips, the Sun Devils forced a turnover: Vontaze Burfict interception in the 2nd quarter, Bo Moos fumble recovery in the 4th quarter.