Editor's Note: This is part of a weeklong series looking back at the first half of the ASU football season. We will be handing out individual awards, conference awards as well as positional grades throughout the bye week.
Offensive MVP: Tim White
The entire ASU offense has had its share of problems. The Sun Devils haven't had many weapons to lean on this season, and everyone has had issues finding the endzone.
Well, everyone except wide receiver Tim White.
White has easily been the Sun Devils' most consistent player, recording a receiving touchdown in four of his five games he's appeared in as well as holding six total scores for season, including a 100-yard kickoff return against Utah last week.
Despite being 5-foot-11, 185 pounds, White's athleticism has helped him become Arizona State's go-to target and a decent replacement to Jaelen Strong. Without White's presence, ASU's passing game is just about defunct, as shown in its season opener against Texas A&M when the Sun Devils recorded just 199 passing yards.
Also considered: Demario Richard
Coming Along: Kalen Ballage
After missing the first three games of the season due to mononucleosis, Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage is starting to mix himself back into the offense.
Ballage is showing some signs of improvement and the dominant power back he was hyped up to be, as shown in his 23-yard "Moonwalk" touchdown run against the UCLA Bruins back on Oct. 3.
Still, Ballage has ways to go from his potential. Aside from his touchdown run against UCLA, Ballage doesn't scored on any other times in the four games he's been back. He struggled as the primary running back last week against Utah when Richard (knee) couldn't play, and cramps took him out of the game at the beginning of the fourth quarter.
We'll see if Ballage continues to work in a groove and can provide the "thunder" to Richard's "lightning" when both tailbacks get healthier.
Also considered: Devin Lucien, Kody Kohl
Needs Improvement: D.J. Foster
We don't know what's going with Arizona State receiver/tailback D.J. Foster.
The coaches said Foster was "banged up" again last week against Utah, but quite frankly, they've been saying that after most games so far this season.
Foster has been awfully quiet for someone who renowned ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit considered as a candidate for his preseason "Ultimate Herbie" and "Most Exciting Player" awards. He has just 468 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns (all receiving), compared to his 1,072 all-purpose yards and eight total touchdowns at this point of the season last year.
With no solid clues, we can't help but to speculate what's happening. Maybe it's Foster's struggles to mesh with his new gig as a slot receiver. Maybe it's just the result of an ineffective offense as a whole. Maybe he is just "banged up." Maybe it's something way more serious than just a ding. Maybe there's something affecting him off the field. No matter the reason, Foster is clearly not playing to the level ASU fans are accustomed to seeing, and his performance seems paramount to the Sun Devils' success as shown in previous years.
Also considered: Mike Bercovici, De'Chavon Hayes, the entire ASU offensive line