Sun Devils feeling healthy heading into Saturday’s showdown with USC

Sep 22, 2015, 12:59 PM | Updated: 3:12 pm
5. ASU 36...Duke 31 (Hyundai Sun Bowl) - The Sun Devils led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but fell behind 31-30 with just five minutes left. But freshman Kalen Ballage uncorked a 95-yard kickoff return which set up fellow freshman Demario Richard's fourth touchdown of the day to retake the lead just :18 later. DB Kwieshi Brown sealed it with an interception in the end zone with :45 left, and ASU had their second bowl win in three tries under head coach Todd Graham.
(Hyundai Sun Bowl)

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona State football team may be getting healthy just in time for Pac-12 play. Coach Todd Graham said after Tuesday’s practice that he expects running back Kalen Ballage (mononucleosis), defensive tackle Viliami Latu (leg/ankle), running back De’Chavon Hayes (hamstring) and wide receiver Devin Lucien (hamstring) to be able to play Saturday against USC at Sun Devil Stadium.

Free safety Armand Perry (ankle) is the only player Graham still believes is doubtful.

“We gave them two full days off… and then we didn’t practice in pads Monday so they had three full days to rest and that really helped,” Graham said. “I never say this but our trainer Gerry Garcia and our medical staff, they did an unbelievable job of taking care of our guys.”

Lucien suffered his injury in the first half of Saturday’s game against New Mexico and did not return, but Graham said he took some reps in Tuesday’s practice.

Latu and Hayes missed last week’s game and Ballage hasn’t played this season. He left the team one day before its season opener against Texas A&M in Houston when he was diagnosed with mono.

Having a full complement of offensive weapons will clearly help the Sun Devils when they face No. 19 USC.

“That not only helps offense and defense but our special teams as well,” said receiver D.J. Foster, who has also been dinged up but is feeling better this week.  “A lot of those guys who haven’t been playing are on special teams so it will help all phases of our football team.”

Graham admitted after the A&M game that losing Ballage at the last minute forced the team to reinvent its game plan on the fly.

“You saw our offense start rolling after the second series (against New Mexico),” said running back Demario Richard, when asked how Ballage will impact the offense. “Now picture that from the first series to the 80th. It’s just another weapon and everybody stays fresh. It’s great that he’s back.”

Graham also gave a shout out to backup spur linebacker Marcus Ball on Tuesday, saying “we want him to get well soon.” Graham provided no further details and all a school spokesperson would say is that it’s a medical issue. Ball missed much of last season with an undisclosed medical issue.

Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter

Penguin Air

Comments

Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona State Football

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards speaks during the Pac-12 Conference men's NCAA college football me...
Kevin Zimmerman

Arizona State’s Herm Edwards makes SI’s most intriguing head coach list

It's not for the best of reasons, but a bit of national attention will be on Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards this upcoming season.
3 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils left guard LaDarius Henderson. (Twitter Photo/@ASUFootball)...
Jake Anderson

ASU notebook: QB battle continues; LaDarius Henderson an on-field coach

The Arizona State Sun Devils football team wrapped up their fourth practice of fall camp on Saturday morning.
2 days ago
General view of action between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats during the sec...
Nikash Nath

Sun Devil football announces open house for Aug. 6

The event on Saturday, Aug. 6 will allow for the fans and community to engage with the 2022 Sun Devil football team.
2 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Jordan Clark. (Twitter Photo/@ASUFootball)...
Jake Anderson

Arizona State’s secondary to utilize length, Jordan Clark at safety

The Arizona State Sun Devils have a whopping 21 defensive backs on the roster heading into the 2022 college football season.
4 days ago
Pac-12 Conference commissioner George Kliavkoff speaks at Pac-12 NCAA college football media day Fr...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12, Larry Fitzgerald-backed startup to monetize highlights for NIL

The Pac-12 is entering the NIL space by partnering with a startup that will help athletes earn money from their personalized game highlights.
4 days ago
Arizona State defensive back Chase Lucas reacts after knocking down a pass against Colorado in the ...
Nikash Nath

Wildcats WR Jacob Cowing named his son after ASU product Chase Lucas

Here's something you don't see every day: A college football player naming his son after a former player from his rival school.
5 days ago
Sun Devils feeling healthy heading into Saturday’s showdown with USC