Despite not playing in the last 24 minutes of the final regular season game, there is a very good chance junior linebacker Vontaze Burfict will play in the bowl game according to head coach Dennis Erickson.
“He’s going on the trip,” Erickson said after the team’s first practice since it was announced ASU will play Boise State in the Las Vegas Bowl December 22.
“He’s here. We’ll see how he practices and if he practices hard then he’ll play.”
Burfict though was a spectator for much of Saturday’s practice, which saw senior Colin Parker receiving much of the time at middle linebacker.
Burfict, according to sources, was benched for one series following a personal foul penalty during the game against CAL. However, he then benched himself, refusing to go back into the game and subsequently peeled off his tape, ripped off his gloves and sat with his helmet resting on the ground between his legs.
“There’s no truth to any of that,” Erickson said. “It’s amazing the rumors that are created in your business.”
Even though he leads the team in tackles, Burfict has not lived up to the high expectations placed on him both locally and nationally at the start of the season.
When asked to assess Burfict’s play this year, Erickson responded, “pretty average. He just didn’t play like he did the year before basically.”