ASU football to go with QB Emory Jones as starter over Trenton Bourguet

Oct 17, 2022, 6:48 PM
Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Emory Jones warms up prior to a 45-38 ASU upset win over then-...
Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Emory Jones warms up prior to a 45-38 ASU upset win over then-No. 21 ranked Washington at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona, on Oct. 8, 2022. (Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)
(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

TEMPE — It would appear the Arizona State Sun Devils’ quarterback controversy has ended just as quickly as it began.

After ASU starting QB Emory Jones exited the team’s last game due to a head injury, backup Trenton Bourguet came on and had a career day in the 45-38 upset win over then-No. 21 ranked Washington.

Now following a bye week off in which Jones returned to practice, it appears he will also be resuming his duties as the team’s starting signal caller.

“My philosophy is to never penalize an injured player. So it’s Emory’s job back and we’ll see how it all plays out,” interim head coach Shaun Aguano said on Monday.

Aguano added that the team will continue to practice like it always has, with both quarterbacks getting reps with the first team.

However, with Jones healthy and cleared to be back, he will receive the majority of those snaps, while Bourguet gets four to five reps per period.

“I’ve never been a fan of splitting quarterbacks just because the rhythm the somebody goes in,” Aguano said. “Now, if somebody’s not getting the job done — I’m here to win football games too — if somebody’s not getting the job done, I can make those decisions really quick. I don’t feel like splitting reps or splitting series, the continuity of the game doesn’t bode well in my experience.

“But whoever is going to give me the best chance to win the football game and our team to win a football game — that’s who I’m going to go with.”

This season, Jones has tossed for 1,120 yards on 64% passing (96-for-151) for four touchdown passes and three interceptions. He’s also added four TDs with his legs on 45 carries, but his yards (14) on the ground are a little skewed because of the 14 sacks that he’s taken, which go against rushing yards in college football.

Comparatively, Bourguet, who wants to eventually become a college coach, finished the Washington game with three touchdown passes on 182 passing yards and a 71% accuracy clip (15 of 21), with his only mistake being one interception.

“He did an incredible job. I wasn’t surprised and our team wasn’t surprised and I think that’s why they rallied around it because he goes about practice as the starter every single day and goes about his preparation as a starter every single day,” Aguano said. “He’s here watching film at 6:30 every morning as if he was a starter, so he prepares that way.

“That’s why you didn’t see anybody’s heads down when he was warming up,” he added. “They’re going to all rally around him because they understand exactly what he does in preparation. But for him to just come in with limited reps in practice and do what he did is just extraordinary.”

Injury update

Starting left tackle LaDarius Henderson “probably won’t” be able to play against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday due to a finger injury, Aguano said. The interim head coach added that the team would find out Henderson’s status for the week later on Monday after undergoing his final evaluation.

As for the laundry list of injuries that ASU has had to deal with over the last few weeks, it appears the Sun Devils will be getting a lot of those guys back. Those injured players include three starters in DE Anthonie Cooper, DL Omarr Norman-Lott and RT Des Holmes.

“Everybody else we have back — that are probable — but we have back and have been practicing, so we’re in as good a shape as we’ve been in the past couple weeks,” Aguano said.

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ASU football to go with QB Emory Jones as starter over Trenton Bourguet