ASU coach Todd Graham on Texas Tech game: ‘It should’ve been a blowout’

Sep 13, 2016, 6:05 PM
Todd Graham said that while there are areas that need improvement, the bottom line is that Arizona ...
Todd Graham said that while there are areas that need improvement, the bottom line is that Arizona State is 2-0. (Photo by Trisha Garcia/Cronkite News)
(Photo by Trisha Garcia/Cronkite News)

TEMPE – Arizona State football coach Todd Graham praised his team’s offense for Saturday’s 68-point outburst against Texas Tech, but remains focused on tightening the defense.

“I think we’re 60 percent of the way there as a football team. There’s 40 percent out there we can improve on,” Graham said Monday. “So we’re only halfway there in my opinion.”

The offensive surge came with a downside: Texas Tech scored 55 points.

“We had 28 points on defense that we gave up due to misalignments and things like that, all things we can correct,” Graham said. “It should’ve been a blowout.”

Even though the Sun Devils have scored over 100 points in their 2-0 start, Graham isn’t surprised.

“The key to our success is our ability to be a team that is a dominant run team and a team that makes yards after contact and yards after catch.”

Saturday’s matchup against Texas Tech was a career-game for the Sun Devil offense, specifically for running back Kalen Ballage (8 touchdowns, 137 yards) and quarterback Manny Wilkins Jr. (351 yards passing).

“(Ballage) showed class and character and the grace in which he handled that success,” Graham said of the junior.

Graham praised Wilkins for his growth from week one to week two and his movement forward as a young leader.

“He’s a quarterback that gets all the way to the edge and puts the throttle all the way down,” Graham said. “That’s what I like.”

ASU travels to San Antonio Friday to play the University of Texas at San Antonio.

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