Including today, the Sun Devils have exactly 10 days to prepare before they play their first game of the 2014 season. Not everything needs an "absolute and final" answer by then, but there are questions that still need at least one answer. Here are four things that need to be solved in the next week and a half:
Who will play nose tackle?
This question has become more complicated recently with the return of Jaxon Hood to the team. Demetrius Cherry, Mo Latu, Tashon Smallwood and now Hood have all seen time at the position in camp. Smallwood has become a fixture on the first team defensive line with Marcus Hardison at end. More recently, Smallwood has lined up in a three-technique with Latu and Cherry at nose. But at Camp Tontozona, Connor Humphreys entered the fold as a potential starting nose tackle, running with the first team during the scrimmage on Saturday.
Will Marcus Ball be healthy enough to play?
It has been a frustrating journey for Ball since his arrival at Arizona State. After redshirting last season with shoulder injury, Ball has for the most part continued to stay in the green jersey assigned to him, except for a practice or two with just shells. He was certainly flying around on Saturday at the scrimmage, making actual tackles on more than one occasion with the green no-contact jersey still on.
"We plan on progressing him as he feels comfortable," Graham said Saturday.
It's tough to really gauge where Ball is at given his medical condition is undisclosed, but if Saturday's performance when he lined up at first team boundary safety next to Damarious Randall is any indication, there is a chance he could be back relatively soon.
Who will play tight end?
This is another situation that got more complicated at Camp Tontozona with Grant Martinez going down. He was practicing and participating at practice on Monday but had a knee brace on. The coaching staff has been relatively impressed with what Kody Kohl has been able to bring, but he doesn't quite have the blocking ability of De'Marieya Nelson or Martinez.
The team also continues to try and find the right combination of rest and playing time on the defensive and offensive side of the ball for Nelson. Kohl might be the preliminary answer here at the moment, but the Sun Devils need tight ends that can block and catch (like Chris Coyle) in order to have success.
Where will Kalen Ballage play?
He's too talented from a pure matter of athleticism for the Sun Devils not to use him. He played running back in high school but that spot is occupied primarily by D.J. Foster, although Graham has hinted at using different backs there throughout camp. The next man up would most likely be redshirt senior Deantre Lewis.
Ballage has seen time at second team running back and returned a few kicks, but that's also a spot where the Sun Devils are trying out Jaelen Strong. It depends on the seriousness of his back injury too, but Ballage seems stuck in no man's land at the moment unless he gets a look at a receiver spot.