Matt Kartozian-US PRESSWIRE
The Sun Devils face a very crucial Pac-12 South division game on Saturday against UCLA, and will need some of their key guys to step up. But who will be the most important?
It may not be the marquee game of the day, but Saturday's Pac-12 South showdown between Arizona State and UCLA is filled with implications.
Despite a crushing loss to Oregon last week, ASU remains tied for the South lead, while the defending division champs at UCLA are just a game back.
In order to secure this key Homecoming win, the Sun Devils will need some big time performances, so we turn to you and ask: Who will be the Most Important Sun Devil this Saturday?
QB Taylor Kelly: One of the nation's most efficient quarterbacks ran into a wall in the form of Oregon on Thursday. In the face of the Ducks' pressure, Kelly made several mistakes in what was easily his worst game as a Sun Devil. He's shown great resiliency during his career, and will need a bounceback effort to lead ASU to a crucial win.
RB D.J. Foster: The true freshman continues to prove he is the centerpiece to the Sun Devils offense with his explosiveness as a runner and receiver. He leads the team with 310 yards and a 5.7 yards-per-carry mark, and is second on the team with 22 catches and no Sun Devil averages more than his 15.8 yards-per-catch. ASU will need their top playmaker to show off that dynamic form frequently on Saturday.
TE Chris Coyle: The Bruins have a very experienced secondary, and pair of good cornerbacks could make it difficult for the wide receivers to get on track. This could be an opportunity for ASU's top target in Coyle to have a big game along the seams and underneath.
LT Evan Finkenberg: UCLA has one of the best pass rushers in the nation in outside linebacker Anthony Barr. The converted running back has been a terror from his spot on the right edge of the Bruins' 3-4 defense, racking up 7.5 sacks (eighth in the nation). Finkenberg will need to be on the top of his game to keep Kelly upright.
DT Jaxon Hood: With the status of Will Sutton still very much in doubt, true freshman Jaxon Hood will need to step up his game. Hood has been solid during his debut season, but the play of the 295-pounder will be essential in ASU's efforts to slow down a very productive Bruin rushing attack.
LB Chris Young: Last week, ASU was gashed by Oregon's Marcus Mariota, and this week, they will face another dangerous dual-threat quarterback. No Sun Devil defender can cover more ground nor close on the ball faster than Young from his "spur" spot, and the team's leading tackler will be a top weapon to combat UCLA's Brett Hundley.
S Alden Darby: This week, Darby earned the privilege of wearing the new Pat Tillman jersey in practice. He's been great both as a player and a leader, and the team will lean heavily on him once again to stop the Bruins' ground game, as well as tight end Joseph Fauria.
So those are some of the top candidates. Vote below in our poll as to which Sun Devil you are counting on most this Saturday.
Who will be the Most Important Devil vs. UCLA?
Taylor Kelly (69 votes)
DJ Foster (8 votes)
Chris Coyle (3 votes)
Evan Finkenberg (2 votes)
Jaxon Hood (24 votes)
Chris Young (20 votes)
Alden Darby (3 votes)
Other (Post your choice below in the comments) (5 votes)
134 total votes