What a strange day at ASU football practice Tuesday.
The team got in all of its work, coach Dennis Erickson said, but the media and others watching practice on the sideline were instructed to leave the "bubble," or indoor practice facility, about 45 minutes before practice ended.
Winds kicked up outside as two storm fronts neared convergence, according to an official with the athletic department who must have been monitoring the weather, and media were asked to leave and wait outside. The bubble has a history of taking storm damage. About two years ago, storms in the area caused about $1 million in damage to the facility.
Outside the bubble while practice went on, lightning struck to the east and it began to sprinkle after Erickson spoke to reporters. Wind gusts were high and kicked up a lot of dust.
In the bubble, it's down to Steven Threet and Brock Osweiler for the QB job. Samson Szakacsy was the odd-man out who only got a few snaps with the first-team offense Tuesday.
Threet got first crack and was efficient and pretty much mistake-free. He completed a long pass to Mike WIllie, but it was not a pretty throw.
Osweiler threw the pass of the day, threading the ball to the left sideline where only his receiver could catch it over the shoulder without going out of bounds. Willie made a nice play to make the catch ahead of safety Clint Floyd.
A couple of plays later, Osweiler's pass into the flat was picked off by linebacker Gerald Munns for a touchdown.
Osweiler is the more accurate passer of the two, but Threet has a quicker release.
"Wait 'til Monday," Erickson said.
Maybe the storm did the Devils some good. Erickson said he saw "probably the best tempo of the year," on offense and defense.
"I remember a year ago at this time, when we came off a two-day break like that, one of the worst practices we ever had," Erickson said. "All three quarterbacks, particularly Steven and Brock, picked up the tempo."
The Sun Devils scrimmaged Saturday and took Sunday and Monday off.
The play of ASU's defense is lost in the big story, the quarterback competition. But Erickson said his defense was "all over the field" on Saturday, and also tackled well.
One player who has impressed is safety Keelan Johnson, who might be the second coming of Mitchell "Fright Night" Freedman with the punishing hits he has delivered in practice. Of course, SB Nation hopes Johnson doesn't end up like Freedman post-ASU.