Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton will likely decide whether to return for his senior season after the Sun Devils’ bowl game, the junior said Friday.
After ASU’s 41-34 Territorial Cup win over Arizona in Tucson, Sutton celebrated on the field as ASU fans in attendance chanted “One more year.” Wrapped up in the wild finish, Sutton was mum on his plans.
“It’s crazy — I don’t know yet,” Sutton said. “Probably after the bowl game.”
Despite battling multiple injuries Friday night, Sutton gave the Wildcats offensive line fits with constant pressure. Sutton finished with five tackles, two for loss. He left the game to get medical attention at least three times for what coach Todd Graham called a foot injury. Graham also said Sutton went for X-rays after the game.
“He’s going to be real sore,” Graham said. “He’s tough. He was playing. That’s the way our guys were.”
Graham said junior defensive end Junior Onyeali was also playing hurt and that ASU did not practice in full pads all week due to widespread bumps and bruises.
Sutton left the locker room at Arizona Stadium in a walking boot. Depending on what bowl game ASU ends up in, Sutton could have as much as a month to heal. This season, he also missed all but two plays of ASU’s game against Oregon on Oct. 18 and the following game against UCLA with a bone bruise on his right knee.
Senior linebacker Brandon Magee registered a career-high 17 tackles in ASU’s win Friday night, eclipsing his previous best of 13. He also contributed three tackles for loss.
“I didn’t even know how many I got,” Magee said after the game. “I was just trying to make plays. I’ve got fire every game, but tonight (the Territorial Cup) had to go home with us.”
With his first 13 tackles Friday, Magee reached 100 on the season, most of any ASU player. Graham said Magee played all of ASU’s 96 defensive plays.
“I know Marion (Grice) was the MVP, (but) my MVP was Brandon Magee,” Graham said. “The leadership that he showed on the sidelines was phenomenal.”
Magee, who missed last year’s Territorial Cup with a season-ending Achilles injury suffered in fall camp, said he was proud of how the Sun Devils handled the win, simply shaking hands with their opponent and walking to a corner of the field to celebrate.
“I didn’t play last year, and I felt like (UA) disrespected us by coming on our field and stomping on our (logo) like that,” Magee said. “That’s why when we won, you saw what we did.”
The players heard from a few former ASU coaches after their big win Friday. First it was legendary former coach Frank Kush, who was in the visiting locker room with the team.
After taking a victory lap of sorts to let ASU fans touch the Territorial Cup trophy, Graham went to the locker room and was greeted by Kush.
“I got an opportunity to go in and hand the Territorial Cup to Frank Kush,” Graham said. “I’m very grateful to him — I’m proud to lead the program that he built. He was pretty excited. He gave (the trophy) a little kiss.”
Graham said he and Kush met multiple times during the week, with Kush emphasizing the importance of the rivalry game each time.
Graham also said former coach Dennis Erickson, whom he replaced last December, texted after the game to congratulate him and the players.
“I want to thank him for leaving this program in such good shape and with such great young people he brought here,” Graham said. “I want to thank him for his words, and I told the players that, too.”