QB questions linger as No. 14 ASU faces Huskies

QB questions linger as No. 14 ASU faces Huskies

Published Oct. 24, 2014 1:53 p.m. ET

SEATTLE (AP) As much as it might seem to be the case, this is not a game of quarterback roulette.

When No. 14 Arizona State faces Washington on Saturday night, no one is fully certain how many quarterbacks will play. It could be two. Or three. Or four.

Arizona State coach Todd Graham and Washington coach Chris Petersen hope the number doesn't go any higher than that.

The uncertainty at quarterback is mostly injury related, although the Sun Devils (5-1, 3-1 Pac-12) are far more proven at the position than the Huskies (5-2, 1-2).


Arizona State's Taylor Kelly is expected to play for the first time since suffering a foot injury against Colorado on Sept. 13. He missed the Sun Devils being routed by UCLA, but watched as backup Mike Bercovici led Arizona State to wins over USC and Stanford.

Graham indicated this week there is a chance both quarterbacks will play even if Kelly gets the start.

''We have confidence in both those guys to do whatever we have to do to win and that's what we are going to do,'' Graham said.

Washington has its own quarterback questions after starter Cyler Miles suffered a concussion in the fourth quarter of last week's loss at Oregon. Redshirt freshman Troy Williams finished off the game and would be in line to start against the Sun Devils if Miles doesn't get clearance to play.

Petersen said giving Miles some rest during practice this week could be beneficial, but with the hope that he would be able to start.

''Cyler's had a lot of reps now with us. I think it's good sometimes when we hold out our starters when you can,'' Petersen said. ''We've got to pay attention to all our starters in terms of wearing them out a little bit and keeping them fresh. It's that fine balance between giving them the right amount and not too much.''

Here are other things to watch as the Sun Devils and Huskies meet:

STREAKY: While Oregon's current 11-game winning streak against Washington is a source of disgust for Huskies fans, the Sun Devils aren't far behind in their dominance of the guys in purple. Arizona State has won eight straight over Washington dating back to 2002. The last time Washington beat the Sun Devils was 2001, when John Anderson kicked a 30-yard field goal on the final play to give the Huskies a 33-31 win in Tempe.

SHAQ ATTACK: With Washington's running backs thinned by injury, linebacker Shaq Thompson could get some additional time on the offensive side of the ball. Dwayne Washington (chest) and Lavon Coleman (shoulder) were both injured against Oregon, leaving Deontae Cooper as the Huskies' only fully healthy running back. Thompson has been used sparingly in the backfield this season, but when the ball finds his hands good things happen. He has four defensive touchdowns and one offensive, coming on a 57-yard run against Eastern Washington.

''I don't think you can have enough running backs. So that's (why) all along we've had Shaq kind of in the mix in case anything happened,'' Petersen said.

HE'S THE DJ: Arizona State RB D.J. Foster is one of two running backs in the country with at least 600 yards rushing and 300 yards receiving this season. He's caught a pass in 33 straight games, but the Sun Devils would like to see his run game get started again. After three huge games to start the season, Foster has 102 yards rushing combined in his last three games.

MORE THAN OFFENSE: Arizona State's offense has received much of the attention this season, but the Sun Devils' defense deserved recognition for its performance against Stanford. The Cardinal were held to under 100 yards rushing for the second time in the past 31 games. Stanford was also shut out in the first quarter for the first time since the 2007 season.

PURPLE HAZE: Washington's Hau'oli Kikaha added to his nation-leading sack total last week, getting to Oregon's Marcus Mariota 2 1/2 times to raise his season total to 12 1/2. He's two sacks short of Washington's single-season record of 14 1/2 set by Jason Chorak in 1996 and one shy of besting Daniel Te'o-Nesheim's career total of 30.