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QUOTES: 2014 Spring Game
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/19/2014
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Head coach Todd Graham

Opening statement:
“It was a good day.  I like the format that we did because it created more competition.  The gold team was really down, but came back and fought back, got a chance to win.  Maroon held on with a fourth down, goal-line stand.  D.J. [Foster] was frustrated with me—he really wanted to play more.  I thought he did some good things when he was in there.  Loved the big shot to Jaelen [Strong] from Taylor Kelly.  I thought Kelly really looked good today.  He really managed the offense and was very much in command of things.  Both offensive lines divided up evenly on each team—all those guys did some good things. 

There were way too many dropped balls today.  The tempo was way too slow.  There are a lot of things we need to work on.  But I was very pleased with the competition.  I love this team and love the character.  We had a great spring.  Our program is about one thing, and this is winning championships.  Anything less than being Pac-12 Champions is less than acceptable.  These guys understand the task ahead of them.  We have a lot of work to do and we’re excited to get the opportunity to do it.”

On the team’s physicality:
“I was happy.  We started off with our Frank Kush drill where we play a little smash mouth and we get after it.  Frank loves that drill.  Then we put the ball on the nine-yard line, and you couldn’t throw the ball you had to run it.  I like that mentality.  The key for us to get better offensively is being able to run the ball.  I liked the mentality we had today.  I thought we were a lot more physical.”

On the running game today:
“I thought that Deantre [Lewis] showed a lot of good signs today.  It has to be more consistent. It has to be every down.  I liked how he ran in the two quarters, but I didn’t like how he ran in the over time period.  That’s when it counts.  So a lot of that is conditioning, and we just have to get them in shape to be able to handle what we do.”

On concerns going into next season:
“Just developing our guys.  The biggest thing, if you ask me, would be transitioning our newcomers.  We have a tremendous class of guys coming in and we pride ourselves on being able to transition them very quickly.  That’s probably going to be the biggest thing—transitioning the guys that aren’t here.  I have a lot of confidence in the guys that are here, and those are the guys that are going to lead them and take them where they need to be in the fall.”

Senior quarterback Taylor Kelly

On getting the spring-game win on a defensive stop:
“We play defense here, and those guys were fired up. Fourth and inches that’s what it comes down to in a game and our defense came through for us.”

On spring and the offseason:
“Our offense has done a great job, it was a big test for some of these young receivers that came in. DJ Foster is an amazing player, the offensive line, they’re doing a great job and so much more ahead then they were at this time and point. If you look at protections they know when a defense is going to stunt a certain way. With the certain blitzes they see, were doing, defensively I’m really surprised on where they are at, with the alignment, getting lined up and flying around.” 

On lofty expectations for 2014:
“It’s the National Championship. The Rose Bowl. Pac-12 Championship [game]. Host it, win it here, that’s our goal. We want to be in the top-four with that new playoff race this year. Compete at every level during the summer and get rockin’ rolling in August.” 

Senior wide receiver Jaelen Strong

On if ASU can win the Pac-12:
“Most definitely. I don’t see why not. That’s the question that everybody asks. We got to the Pac-12 Championship last year, when nobody felt we could make it there.”

On filling the holes on defense:
“We have players coming in. People come here to play defense, that’s what we’re known for. We’re known for defense so I don’t expect anything less than last year.”

Damarious Randall

On if the teams were even:
“I was hearing the coaches actually did a draft and I was told that I was the first pick taken, then the gold team got two picks. They were picked through the draft.”

On if he likes being the first overall pick:
“Oh yeah. That’s definitely not the last time I would like that.”

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