TEMPE, Ariz. — There is an old adage that goes “if you have two quarterbacks, you really have none.”
Well, Arizona State has two quarterbacks, and feels good about either Taylor Kelly or Mike Bercovici lining up under center against No. 23 Stanford on Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium in a rematch of last season’s Pac-12 Championship Game.
“We’re balancing (the reps),” offensive coordinator and deputy head coach Mike Norvell said. “Both guys are preparing to play this week. We’ll evaluate as the week goes on.”
Kelly has not played since hurting his right foot at Colorado on Sept. 13.
In his absence, Bercovici has started each of the past two games, throwing for 998 yards, eight touchdowns and two interceptions, losing at home to UCLA but winning on the road at USC.
“We’re in a great place,” said Norvell, who would not commit to a starter. “Right now, we’re just going to continue to progress through this week; see where Taylor is at and then we’ll be able to tell on Saturday.”
Kelly practiced once during the Sun Devils’ bye week, returning last Thursday, albeit on a limited basis. He was back practicing again on Tuesday, still in a green no-contact jersey, though he increased his workload on the field.
“He’s made a great deal of improvement,” Norvell said. “Just seeing him out today; getting moving was really his first real reps together as a unit. That was positive to see.”
Head coach Todd Graham liked what he saw from Kelly, a three-year starter.
“We expect him to play,” Graham said. “What that role will be — if I left it up to Taylor, he’s all ready to go — but we’re also going to be careful. I think he will play. I think Mike will play, too, so we’ll see kind of how that works. But it’s his senior year and as soon as he can get back, obviously it’s his team.”
On the season, Kelly has completed 42-of-68 passes for 625 yards and six touchdowns. He’s also rushed for 168 yards and two scores.
The senior captain did not address reporters after practice.
Bercovici did, and he appeared ready to share playing time in the first Saturday home game of the season for ASU.
“Honestly, when I step inside the white lines, if it’s five snaps or 50 snaps, I’m going to give it my all,” he said. “I know what the looks are and prepared. I’ve been watching my film, meeting extra time with coach. I’m really excited to see Taylor get back on the field because I know how bad he wants it. I couldn’t imagine being a senior and having it taken away from you for UCLA and USC.
“But like I said, when I step out there, it’s just going to be let’s get 11 guys going in the right direction.”