ASU’s Grice hopeful of returning for Holiday Bowl

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State running back Marion Grice spoke publicly Sunday for the first time since suffering a leg injury that has kept him out of two games, and the senior remains hopeful he will be able to play in the Holiday Bowl against Texas Tech on Dec. 30.

“I should, I feel like I will,” Grice said. “If the trainers continue to see me improving, I should be fine.”

ASU coach Todd Graham on Friday said Grice remains questionable for the Holiday Bowl, but Graham said expects Grice to play. He repeated that expectation Sunday.

“I look for Marion to be back,” Graham said. “He’s focused on being back, but we’ll see how that goes.”

Grice, who was injured late in ASU’s Nov. 23 win over UCLA, has not practiced since the injury. He has been off crutches for three days now but is still wearing a walking boot. Grice said he’s just taking treatment day by day and does not have a timetable for his recovery.

Grice said he won’t play in the bowl game if his leg injury, which has not been specified, is anything less than 100 percent.

“I want to be 100 percent in my last game,” Grice said. “It’s got to be 100 percent for sure.”

Grice admitted it was not easy watching from the sidelines as ASU beat Arizona to retain the Territorial Cup and then lost to Stanford in the Pac-12 title game. He did take some consolation, though, in the fact that his last performance helped ASU clinch the Pac-12 South.

“It’s tough to sit on the sidelines and watch the guys battle without me,” Grice said. “The only thing I can do is say some words to continue to encourage them.”

The nation’s leading scorer for much of the season, Grice has 20 touchdowns on the year along with 996 rushing yards and 438 receiving yards. He remains two touchdowns shy of ASU’s single-season record.