There is no doubt the Arizona State Sun Devils are a better team with Taylor Kelly under center.
The senior quarterback is one of the best dual-threats in the country, having thrown for 7,330 yards and 63 touchdowns while rushing for 1,316 yards and 12 scores.
With him, ASU’s offense has the look of a Pac-12 contender.
Last week against UCLA, Kelly’s backup Mike Bercovici threw for 488 yards and three touchdowns, but was also intercepted twice and lost one fumble in the 62-27 loss.
While the team has professed plenty of faith in the backup, there’s no doubt they’d like to get Kelly back on the field soon.
And according to head coach Todd Graham, that may just happen for the Devils’ big game against Stanford next week.
“I fully expect him to play,” Graham told Doug and Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Friday. “He had a good report [Thursday]. He’s off the crutches and the boot. He’s going to be able to start doing some things early next week, probably Wednesday of next week or Tuesday.
“And I expect him to play.”
Kelly has been out of action since breaking a bone in his right foot late in the third quarter of the team’s 38-24 win in Colorado.
The school has not released specifics on the injury, though it was speculated at the time he would likely miss one or two games.
So barring a setback, he appears to be right on track.
“We’re not going to bring him back — if he can’t physically do it, our doctors and trainers are going to make sure we protect him,” Graham said. “I know he was coming out here [Thursday] wanting to play in this game.”
Graham added he understands Kelly’s desire to get back on the field.
“I hurt for him because it’s his senior year, and a lot of people don’t realize how much work — you look at the work and investment that young man’s put in this program, and he won’t ever get a chance to play UCLA again and he’ll never get a chance to play USC again,” Graham said. “We talk to the team about how important that is that we don’t take it for granted, that we go out and do everything we can to put him in position to when he gets back that we’re in position to compete for a championship.”