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ASU Football: RB Kalen Ballage out of Texas A&M game due to illness

The Sun Devils will be without one of their most explosive players in a critical first game.

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona State Sun Devils announced minutes prior to Saturday's game against Texas A&M that running back Kalen Ballage is ruled out of the game and returned to Tempe due to illness.

Ballage, listed as the No. 2 running back on ASU's depth chart behind Demario Richard, was expected to make a significant impact against the Aggies. The Sun Devils were also hoping for Ballage to contribute on defense at the team's signature Devil backer position.

Ballage ran for four touchdowns in 2014 — three rushing and one receiving.

Look for De'Chavon Hayes to pick up on the load, as well as Jason Smith and possibly Jacom Brimhall to get some carries in Ballage's place behind Richard.