The temperature in Tempe on Saturday flirted with triple digits for the first time since Todd Graham was brought aboard to be the head coach of the Arizona State football team. And it just so happened to be the same day of the spring game.
But Graham’s reaction to it was not what you would expect from someone who has spent most of his life on the East Coast.
“I loved the heat! It cant get hot enough for me, I absolutely loved it,” he said.
Well the heat turned up on what has been the most intriguing storyline of the spring, the quarterback competition between Mike Bercovici, Michael Eubank and Taylor Kelly. That remained the case at the spring game where the three rotated possessions and seemed to try and one up each other throughout the day.
Taylor Kelly got out to the fast start leading his offense to scoring drives on his first two possessions. The first was a 43 yard touchdown run.
“I had to take what the defense was giving me and today was a good opportunity for me to go out and do my thing today,” said ASU’s redshirt-sophomore Taylor Kelly.
Michael Eubank then got into the act taking a shot down the field and connecting with Rashad Ross on a 53 yard pitch and catch for six.
“I think I am getting better. I obviously look at all those articles that are being written about me and my passing abilities,” said ASU redshirt-freshman Michael Eubank. “I just wanted to come out and pass the ball and show I can be a quarterback.”
All three did a solid job of orchestrating solid scoring drives and in the end of spring concluding with the spring game, no one separated themself enough to take the lead for the job heading into summer workouts.
Todd Graham explained the one thing that he is looking for in the quarterback he plans to start in the upcoming season.
“We need a leader,” explained Graham. “It is hard when you have three guys rotating but we need and those guys are all great people but we need a leader to emerge there and I think we are well on our way of doing that.”
“It’s not the most physically impounding kid, it’s not the person with the biggest arm, the fastest, it’s your leadership,” added sophomore quarterback Mike Bercovici. “It’s getting those 300 pound guys moving up the field and that is what I worked on today.”
Graham said that he came into spring thinking he could have confidence in the quarterbacks. But now as spring comes to a close he knows he does have confidence in them.
The MVP of the spring game was Jamal Miles. He had three touchdowns on the day. Two were receiving and one was a 97 yard kick-off return for a touchdown.
The player Todd Graham mentioned a few times throughout spring practices was running back James “Tank” Morrison, who stood out to the coach again at the spring game. Cameron Marshall should be slated to be the number one back during the season, and with good reason. But Graham said he will have a lot of trouble not having Morrison on the field.
“It was a good spring. We are conforming to what we are trying to do but we need to be transformed,” explained Graham as spring practice comes to a close.