Ain’t broke, don’t fix it: ASU play-caller Shaun Aguano to stick with QB Trenton Bourguet

Oct 31, 2022, 6:36 PM | Updated: 7:06 pm
Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet warms up prior to a 45-38 upset win over then-No. 21 Was...
Arizona State quarterback Trenton Bourguet warms up prior to a 45-38 upset win over then-No. 21 Washington at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz., on Oct. 8, 2022. (Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)
(Arizona Sports Photo/Jeremy Schnell)

TEMPE — If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Arizona State Sun Devils interim head coach Shaun Aguano isn’t going to change much after a 42-34 win over the Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.

After quarterback Trenton Bourguet won the QB battle over Emory Jones and set a school record for the most passing yards in a first career start, Aguano is sticking to what worked for when the No. 10 UCLA Bruins come to Tempe this weekend.

“Trenton has earned the right to be the starter. Our kids are doing well with him and they trust him,” Aguano said Monday. “It’s a bad spot for Emory. A great conversation that we had with Emory was, ‘Coach, I’ll be ready if the time comes.’ That’s always hard on a kid.

“Trenton will be our starter, I think he did everything right. He plays with that moxie and that little bit of ‘it’ to him and our kids trust him.”

ASU’s offense exploded for six touchdowns and 557 total yards in Boulder on Saturday, 435 of which came from the arm of Bourguet on 32 of 43 passing (74%).

That passing yards metric set a new school record for a Sun Devil quarterback making his first career start and are the most from any Arizona State QB since Mike Bercovici tossed for 510 in the 2014 Jael Mary game against USC.

Bourguet also threw for three touchdowns — all to tight end Jalin Conyers — and now has more passing TDs (six) in seven quarters played than Jones (five) has all season.

“I thought he did an incredible job of getting the ball out quickly, making those decisions. That was kind of the game plan, making sure that it wasn’t long progressions,” Aguano said. “We understand from a stature standpoint, we had to do movements, we had to do all those things to give him a chance and he did really, really well.

“I think it gives the offense confidence that Trenton will be the guy going forward,” he added. “Emory is very confident and very willing and able to take care of this offense. Will there be different changes with both quarterbacks? I don’t think so because I think the offense will fit both of these guys. But going forward, Trenton will be the guy that I think will give us the best shot to win.”

Another decisive factor in ASU setting season highs for both points scored and yards gained against Colorado was Aguano taking over play-calling duties for offensive coordinator Glenn Thomas.

And with the interim head coach looking to remove that tag with only five games remaining and a 3-5 record, Aguano will remain the team’s play-caller while Thomas continues as a pass game coordinator and QB coach.

“Glenn does a great job. He handles the pass game with me,” Aguano said of Thomas’ role going forward. “We go back (and forth) information-wise from the top. We’re always talking. It’s always hard for someone when you have to make that decision (removing play-calling duties).

“He’s done great with the quarterbacks and Trenton in that conversation. We still sit down and game plan together, so it is a team effort on the offensive side. Maybe the play-calling is a little different, but the way we prepare is exactly the same and he plays a huge part in that.”

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Ain’t broke, don’t fix it: ASU play-caller Shaun Aguano to stick with QB Trenton Bourguet