After arriving in Tempe last winter, Todd Graham spent the entire off-season trying to change the image of Arizona State football off the field.
Last week against Northern Arizona University, he gave Sun Devil fans a glimpse of what he hopes to accomplish on the field.
ASU’s 63-6 whipping of NAU was a nice table setter for what Graham hopes will be a successful first season, revitalizing a program which was left for dead after the Devils were embarrassed by Boise State in the MAACO Las Vegas Bowl as the curtain mercifully closed on the Dennis Erickson era.
The razor-sharp play against the Lumberjacks caught the attention of the fans, media and people close to the program who grew tired of the sloppy, often lackluster play under Erickson.
“I don’t care if it was 63-6 or 16-6,” former ASU star quarterback Danny White told Brad Cesmat Wednesday on ‘Big Guy on Sports.’ “The thing that I am so impressed with is they played the entire game without a single defensive penalty. Think about that…it’s a new system, it’s a new program, it’s a new coach…that’s got to tell you something about the discipline coach Graham has instilled in this team.”
White stressed the Devils need to prove they can play the same physically and mentally sharp game against tougher competition, but has liked what he’s seen from Graham dating back to spring practice when he and his staff infused their high-energy, no non-sense practice approach. A complete 180 degree change from Erickson’s coaching style.
White is certainly buying what Graham is selling.
“I’m not putting anything past coach Graham,” he explained to Cesmat. “I know one thing…I’m going to be at every game I possibly can. I’ve never said that in the past. I can appreciate watching guys that play 60 minutes and leave everything on the field that they got and that’s one thing I think this team will do.”