Sun Devils’ QB race tightens between Bourguet, Rashada as Pyne remains out
Aug 14, 2023, 2:45 PM
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
TEMPE — The Arizona State Sun Devils held their first practice on Monday after returning from Camp Tontozona in Payson over the weekend.
The biggest story from the team scrimmage up north was potential starting quarterback Drew Pyne going down with a hamstring injury that will keep him out for an undisclosed time period, head coach Kenny Dillingham said Monday.
“Little hamstring (problem), quarterbacks are different,” Kenny Dillingham said. “It’s not like a running back or a wide receiver so we do not know the exact time he will be back.”
The injury leaves incumbent Trenton Bourguet and freshman Jaden Rashada competing for the job, as BYU transfer Jacob Conover has seemingly fallen out of the race.
The head coach had yet to name a starter prior to Camp T but said the injury threw a major wrench in his plans just now 17 days away from the team’s first game of the season against Southern Utah.
“Drew has done a great job being a leader, going out there and going through calls and reads,” Dillingham said.
“I got a curveball to say the least. I do not know. Before, I kinda had a plan. I think that plan has officially been derailed a little bit.”
Rashada has progressed mightily in fall camp as the freshman saw the lion’s share of reps with the first team offense on Monday. He has been splitting time all throughout fall with the ones, but to a much lesser degree.
His athletic prowess is the first attribute that immediately jumps off the page. Rashada’s ability to roll out to the right side of the pocket and throw a ball on the run is staggering.
Despite the flair plays, he still is struggling to find a consistency during the 7-on-7 and team portions of practice, missing out routes too wide and sailing a couple balls over receiver’s heads, something that is expected of an 18-year-old freshman.
The ASU offense struggled regardless of who was at quarterback on Monday, committing false start penalties on consecutive plays (multiple times), holding penalties in the end zone and most importantly walking on and off the field.
“On offense, we have to have more passion,” Dillingham said. “If it doesn’t piss you off if you don’t have a good day, you don’t win a period, you don’t do it right, something is wrong.”
That is not to say that a big reason for the offensive struggles were not because of the defense’s play. Bourguet and Rashada were consistently dealing with pressure in their face and were met with very tight coverage in the secondary all morning.
Many of the mental errors the offense committed on Monday Dillingham put on his own shoulders due to how he has prepared the team to this point.
“Our guys did not do well in extended drives,” Dillingham said.
“We got exposed with our tempo and conditioning level. We have been preaching physicality and finish, and part of that is my fault because I have been preaching something else. I have not been preaching the longer, extended drives.”
The head coach has preached smart football throughout camp but now he is imploring his players to play smart football while fatigued, the next notch in the belt for this Sun Devil team to accomplish.