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Ball control will be key for Arizona State football
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Ball control will be key for Arizona State football

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona State Sun Devils cannot afford
to turn the ball over in 2012.

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.