Aug. 21, 1997
Sun Devils End Camp with Final Scrimmage
TEMPE, Ariz. - Head coach Bruce Snyder ended his sixth preseason camp at Camp Tontozona with a scrimmage as the Sun Devils continue to prepare for their season-opener August 30 at home vs. New Mexico State. A wet field, dampened by morning showers, prevented coaches from getting a crisp look before heading back to the Valley, but Snyder left satisfied with the eight days near Payson.
"I think we got a lot done," said Snyder. "All in all, I think it was one of the best camps I've been around."
The major question of camp has been who will start at quarterback. Redshirt freshman Ryan Kealy and junior Steve Campbell are up for the job. Snyder has yet to make a decision.
"I've got to clear my mind who I think is going to be the best quarterback," said Snyder. "Even if one didn't statistically jump out, I have a feeling about what I want to do."
In Thursday's scrimmage, Kealy was 5 of 9 for 30 yards with a touchdown while Campbell was 3 of 5 for 21 yards and a touchdown. Combining the two scrimmages, Kealy was 11 of 18 for 98 yards and two TDs while Campbell was 5 of 16 for 76 yards and one TD.
Tailback Larry Montgomery suffered an ankle injury during Wednesday morning's work out. Original x-rays were inconclusive and the freshman tailback was due to be reexamined today. Other than Montgomery, safety Mitchell Freedman (groin) and tight end Zack Romero (lower leg) were the only other Sun Devils to sit out the scrimmage.
Here are some of the thoughts Bruce Snyder shared with the media following the final scrimmage of preseason camp at Camp Tontozona.
How did the quarterbacks do?
"At times they did well. It's still pretty inconsistent in terms of our play. The pass rush got to us, which really hurt the quarterback's consistency. I don't think anybody stuck out dramatically today. I am going to select a starter for New Mexico State pretty soon."
Are you close to naming a starter?
"When is the game? That gives me one parameter right there. Somebody is going to have to line up in the first huddle. That's the latest I'll do it. I may do it before then."
Are you discouraged that a quarterback hasn't stepped up and taken the job?
"Obviously, I think that would have been the best. But, it didn't happen totally. In my mind, I've got to clear my mind who I think is going to be the best quarterback. Even if one didn't statistically jump out, I have a feeling about what I want to do. I'm going to start changing the reps because of that. We'll be fine."
Your thoughts on Marlon Farlow?
"We recruited him as one of the top tailbacks in California several years ago and he looked like it today. It's amazing, when you have something maybe you don't appreciate it at times, but when you lose it really does something internally. He lost football. He was out of school. He was out of spring ball. Kind of like Mitchell Freedman, when you don't have it, you go, 'Man, I'm not going to screw this up again.' He's had a great camp.
How did the defense look?
"We missed tackles. You can't let a 6-8 quarterback scramble in from the 20-yard line. There are some things we have to work on defensively. But, I thought the effort was good. Even though we had dead legs, I thought the effort was real good."
Is this an offense that wil be largely run-oriented?
"I don't think so. This was a pass scrimmage today. We need to throw the football. We recruited those kids to throw the ball. I didn't recruit them to hand it off. I'm going to throw the ball. I like to throw it. In terms of going back to the Rose Bowl, we need to throw the football. If you start paring back, it will shrivel up and die. We're going to throw the football. I'm going to run it too."
What were impressions of this year's camp?
"We were down below for four days before we came up, which we've never done before. I'm curious whether ... because I think we got tired up here. I don't know if we got tired because we're not as mature. The people that are not as mature get tired earlier. They just do. The more mature guy can handle pain and fatigue better. I'm curious about that. Or was it because we stayed in the Valley and worked out there in the heat before we came up. Did that take our legs away from us? I don't know if I'm ready to make a call on it. All and all, I think it was one of the best camps I've been around. I think we got a lot done. A lot of players got a lot of snaps and nobody got injured, basically, other than Larry Montgomery, who we think will be back in three or four weeks, worst case scenario."
How does the right side of the offensive line stand?
"I think that's still under construction a bit. We know that Victor (Leyva) has a lot of talent, but is young. (Glen) Gable is a very mature veteran. But, I do like Troy Davis on that side and I think Randy Leaphart has really stepped it up, particularly the last four or five days of practice. I think we're going to be fine."
How about the end rush?
"Derrick Ford shows up. He's really fast. I think we have three good ones, but I don't think we have a great one."