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ASU Football: Matchup of the week vs. Washington State

Can Taylor Kelly overcome himself?

Susan Ragan-USA TODAY Sports

Washington State went into Corvallis and beat Oregon State. Arizona State went into Corvallis and choked.

So the Sun Devils should be worried about the Cougars, right?

Not so much.  I would bet the house that the Sun Devils roll over the Cougars in this one. But that doesn't mean I'm not extremely interested in one particular matchup this week.

Taylor Kelly vs. Taylor Kelly

Where has TK gone?

I'm not sure he's fully healthy, honestly. Part of what made Taylor Kelly so good was his legs. But outside of the Utah game, Kelly hasn't found the open field in the rushing attack.  And he looks tentative.

Kelly broke his foot. Everyone knew it almost immediately. Arizona State waited until he'd been back for a week before confirming it.

But a broken foot doesn't just heal and everything is fine. Especially not in a month, which is how long Kelly sat out for.

First, it's going to hurt still. And even if it's not going to cause more damage, having pain when you plant to throw or try and cut and run is a distraction not needed.

Second, when you don't use your foot for a month, you lose strength in those muscles.  All of the work Kelly has put into the weight room since he arrived in Tempe is basically gone.

He looks hesitant. He looks unsure of himself.

Taylor Kelly looks like he needs to sit out longer.

I'm not saying he should be benched. I'm saying he should get healthy.

If Kelly comes out and looks inconsistent and hesitant in the first half of this game, he should remove himself. I know that goes against everything a leader, a captain is supposed to do on a football field.

But if Kelly doesn't get healthy, what good does that do anyone?

The Sun Devils will get rolled if they play in a major bowl game and Kelly isn't healthy but continues to play.

You thought Texas Tech was bad last year? What if Kelly isn't healthy and the Sun Devils play either TCU or Baylor in the Holliday Bowl?

The fact is, the offense has been bad since Kelly returned against Washington. Sure, they scored 55 points against Notre Dame. How many times did the offense start in Irish territory? It's easy to score when a team has given up because its quarterback can't protect the football.

I love Taylor Kelly. I still think he has an NFL future, albeit as a backup. He's smart. He's athletic. He's incredibly tough.

Now, he needs to be willing to help himself, and his team.

If Taylor Kelly still doesn't look like Taylor Kelly at halftime, he needs to take a seat. He needs to focus on getting healthy.

He needs to be a leader, and sometimes that requires making difficult choices.