Todd Graham: Sun Devils are Taylor Kelly’s team

Oct 17, 2014, 7:29 PM | Updated: Oct 18, 2014, 10:23 pm
Follow @AZSports...
LISTEN: Todd Graham, ASU Head Football Coach

There will be no quarterback controversy at Arizona State when Taylor Kelly is healthy. He is the starter.

Sun Devils head coach Todd Graham made this point very clear Friday morning when he was a guest for Doug & Wolf on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Backup quarterback Mike Bercovici has impressed as the starter while Kelly recovers from a foot injury. Through his two starts, the redshirt junior is averaging nearly 500 passing yards per game, and threw five touchdowns in an upset win at USC on Oct. 4.

With Kelly’s status still in doubt for Saturday’s game against 23rd ranked Stanford, there is a definite possibility that Bercovici starts, and posts some more gaudy numbers similar to what he’s done so far. Still, if Bercovici could light up a top ranked Stanford defense for the sum of 500 yards and four or five touchdowns, would Graham have a decision to make?

“Zero decision. I’ve won 20-something ball games with Taylor Kelly,” said Graham. “Truly, I believe that Taylor is one of the best that I’ve coached when it comes to intangibles, the winning and just how he goes about doing things. He’s the guy and he’s earned that, and our respect.”

Both quarterbacks have impressed in different areas through ASU’s five games. Bercovici has led much more of an aerial attack for the Sun Devils, throwing for 1,077 yards and nine touchdowns. Kelly represents more of a dual-threat for the team, throwing for six touchdowns, and adding 168 yards and two scores on the ground.

But rather than touchdowns and yards, it’s ball protection that stands out most to Graham, and that is the area where Kelly sets himself apart.

Kelly has no interceptions this season, only losing one fumble. Bercovici struggled with turnovers in the team’s lone loss of the season, throwing two interceptions and losing one fumble in a 62-27 defeat to UCLA.

“[Bercovici] was impressive in both games, throwing the ball, but the difference is, in game two, he didn’t turn the football over,” said Graham. “That’s the key for us. That’s what that experience Taylor provides and what Taylor’s meant.”

Arizona State’s game against Stanford starts at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.

Penguin Air

Arizona State Football

A Arizona State Sun Devils pylon with a football during the NCAAF game against the USC Trojans at S...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 Conference to begin negotiations for next media rights agreements

The Pac-12 Board of Directors met on Tuesday and authorized the conference to immediately begin negotiations for new media rights agreements.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/Ralph Freso)...
Arizona Sports

Pac-12 exploring all expansion options with USC, UCLA heading to Big Ten

The Pac-12 is looking into expansion following the decisions from USC and UCLA on Thursday to head to the Big Ten as early as 2024.
5 days ago
Basketballs are rolled off the court during the NCAAB game at McKale Center on January 03, 2022 in ...
Arizona Sports

Arizona ‘extremely disappointed’ in USC, UCLA leaving Pac-12 for Big Ten

The Arizona Wildcats broke their silence Friday regarding USC's and UCLA's plans to leave the Pac-12 for the Big Ten as early as 2024.
5 days ago
UCLA plays Oregon during a Pac-12 NCAA college football game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., ...
Arizona Sports

UCLA, USC to leave Pac-12 for Big Ten in 2024

UCLA and USC will be leaving the Pac-12 for the Big Ten, beginning in the 2024-25 season, the two schools confirmed on Thursday evening.
6 days ago
Defensive back Jordan Clark #1 of the Arizona State Sun Devils celebrates with the Territorial Cup ...
Nikash Nath

Kyle Soelle, Jordan Clark ready to lead new faces for ASU football

ASU junior CB Jordan Clark and senior captain LB Kyle Soelle are expected to lead a Sun Devils defensive that'll have many new faces in 2022.
12 days ago
Arizona State Sun Devils offensive lineman LaDarius Henderson (77) lines up during the college foot...
Nikash Nath

Arizona State OL LaDarius Henderson talks new culture amid low expectations

OL LaDarius Henderson has been with ASU since 2019 and is no stranger to experiencing personnel and cultural changes within the program.
21 days ago
Todd Graham: Sun Devils are Taylor Kelly’s team