Dillingham: ‘There’s a chance’ Jaden Rashada plays for Arizona State in Territorial Cup

Nov 22, 2023, 8:23 AM

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada...

Arizona State quarterback Jaden Rashada against Southern Utah on August 31, 2023, at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe. (Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)

Freshman quarterback Jaden Rashada has missed the past nine games with a knee injury but could make his first appearance in more than two months on Saturday when his Arizona State Sun Devils host the Arizona Wildcats.

“Yeah, there’s a chance (Rashada plays),” Dillingham told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “He’s practicing better in terms of he’s just getting back in a groove. I think that’s the key for me is never going to throw a young guy back out there unless I think he’s ready to go.

“I know this game means a lot to him, his dad playing for the maroon and gold here.”

Trenton Bourguet, who has been pushing through injury much of this season himself, has played the majority of the snaps since Rashada went down, passing for 1,486 yards, a touchdown and four interceptions. He added two rushing touchdowns.

Rashada through two games compiled more touchdown passes (three) and threw for 403 yards with one interception.

Rashada last appeared in a Sept. 9 loss to the Oklahoma State Cowboys. He started the first two games of the year for Dillingham in his first year on the job but has been out long enough where his redshirt season could be preserved.

Arizona State learning to take a punch

Injuries and roster turnover have made Dillingham’s team susceptible once it falls behind in games. Still, the head coach would like to see his team play from behind a bit better.

While the Sun Devils have been resilient from a game-to-game basis, Dillingham would like to see Arizona State respond better to the pressure of the game at hand.

“Our temperament of our team on Mondays whether we win or lose has been pretty consistent and pretty good. And that’s a sign of the direction where we’re going,” he said. “Where we’re struggling is when we’re in the fight and somebody hits us in the face, we have a little bit of panic in us. We’re not there yet where we can recalibrate, go to our corner, spray our face with water and say, ‘OK, next round.’ That’s where we’ve got to mature as a football team this year and moving forward.

“In-game, if bad things are happening, we got to focus on the detail more … that’s where we’re struggling.”

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Dillingham: ‘There’s a chance’ Jaden Rashada plays for Arizona State in Territorial Cup