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ASU Football: Quarterback situation remains unchanged

Graham held firm in his beliefs Thursday

Victor Decolongon

Todd Graham did not waver from his belief Thursday that both Mike Bercovici and Taylor Kelly will play Saturday night against Stanford, and has yet to name a starter.

"It's his (Kelly's) senior year and I know he wants to play but I want to be very careful too and make sure that when we put him in--that he's ready to go, to do that," Graham said. "I think he will be, but my honest answer that I think that if we played starting today, I think that Bercovici would probably play, because I'm not sure today that he's (Kelly) 100 percent ready to do that."

The Sun Devils have been in a "wait and see" mode since Kelly took the practice field for the first time since the injury with a green no-contact jersey on Oct. 9.

"It's just a deal where you know--we just got to see," Graham added. "We're evaluating film and it looks like he (Kelly) is going to be ready to go. We'll just see how it works. Obviously we've worked both of them, I think both of them will play and we'll just see how it goes."

Graham was very careful about his word choice of "start" and "play" when talking about the quarterback situation. He added that Kelly continues to get reps in practice.

Turnovers and punting

The last time the Sun Devils played a home game was Sept. 25 against UCLA, Bercovici was intercepted twice that night and fumbled a ball away as well. The most costly turnover was a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown by the Bruins' Ishmael Adams. He has been working on his decision making this week and is making it a point of emphasis.

"It's very simple this week, it's something that dating back to spring ball, it's the same type of concepts," Bercovici said. "So basically it's putting the ball in the right spot where either it's us or nobody so that's kind of the mentality that I've been approaching this week."

Another area where Bercovici might need to excel is in the punting game. The Sun Devils have utilized quarterback pooch punts in the past, and it could give Arizona State a chance to keep the Stanford special teams and the lethal Ty Montgomery on their toes. Although Bercovici gave backup Manny Wilkins most of the credit as the best pooch punter among the quarterbacks, he also characterized it as a weapon for the team.

"It's my job to basically not get it blocked and don't put it in the end zone," Bercovici said. " It's almost like golfing, I love to golf so it's almost like a little 60-yard 60-degree wedge."