TEMPE, Ariz. -- Arizona State had more than a few issues in last season's Pac-12 Championship Game loss to Stanford, but perhaps none was more glaring than special teams. They were just as bad or worse in the Holiday Bowl, and Graham hinted strongly at a looming change.
That change came in the form of Keith Patterson, a longtime Graham assistant and new defensive coordinator who was also tasked with overhauling ASU's special teams as Joe Lorig's replacement.
Graham gave Patterson a tall task considering the Sun Devils were the Pac-12's worst punting team last season and ranked sixth or lower in every special teams category but field goals (fourth). Patterson likes the progress he's seen.
"I feel really good," Patterson said. "I feel good with all of our kickers, punters. Protection continues to improve. We've got a lot of speed on kickoff cover. I'm really pleased with what I've seen from an effort standpoint in all phases."
Tight ends coach Chip Long assumed new special-teams dutie...