On Tuesday, Arizona State head coach Todd Graham said sophomore quarterback Manny Wilkins was "questionable to doubtful" for Saturday's matchup with UCLA.
On Wednesday, Wilkins didn't participate in warmups at ASU's practice, instead lingering off to the side and walking gingerly with his left ankle wrapped in heavy tape.
With Wilkins likely out for Saturday, ASU offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey said he's excited for redshirt freshman quarterback Brady White to play against the Bruins, especially after White's comfort level grew during the second half of Saturday's game against USC.
"He's (White) had a good week, he's prepared all the way, even through fall camp, and I think that's why when he got in the game the other night, he was able to play pretty well," Lindsey said. "He has prepared each week like he's the starter and really done a good job and we're excited to see him play."
After leading an offense that managed just 11 yards in the third quarter, White led the Sun Devils to two fourth quarter touchdown drives that Lindsey said were a result of improved execution from ASU's offense.
"We didn't run any new plays, so it was the same stuff, we just executed a little better and you know, our guys ran the ball," Lindsey said. "Nick (Ralston) came in and ran the ball pretty well, Brady made some nice throws and we caught the ball out at wide receiver and we won some one-on-one battles."
White finished Saturday's game 6-for-13 for 80 yards and one touchdown in the first extended action of his college career, and is poised to make his first career start at home against his father Deron's alma mater, UCLA.
In 2014, ASU backup quarterback Mike Bercovici made his first career start at Sun Devil Stadium against the Bruins in a 62-27 loss, but the Sun Devils rebounded the following week with a victory over USC.
ASU head coach Todd Graham lauded Bercovici for his preparation skills and readiness as the Sun Devils' backup quarterback, and Wednesday, Lindsey said many of the the same things about White.
"Not really, he hasn't changed his preparation at all," Lindsey said. "That guy comes in, watches film and studies, watches practice and studies the game plan. Maybe he's been a little more vocal on the field, possibly, but other than that, he's prepared the same way. Brady is a pretty even-keeled person and playing that position, never too high never too low, I think that serves him well and so far I like what I've seen. Looking forward to seeing him play on Saturday."
With White likely stepping into the starting role, freshman quarterback Dillon Sterling-Cole has assumed the backup responsibilities. At practice Wednesday, Sterling-Cole worked with ASU's second team offense for the first time in a period open to the media, and Lindsey said if White were to suffer an injury, the Sun Devils wouldn't be afraid to burn Sterling-Cole's redshirt.
"Oh yeah, if we had to yeah, he's (Sterling-Cole) our next guy," Lindsey said when asked about Sterling-Cole.
News and notes
- Junior linebacker Christian Sam only walked during ASU's warmup period Wednesday and warmed up in the injury line. After warmups, Sam went over to Muscle Beach and worked with a trainer.
- Senior defensive tackle Viliami Latu practiced with a brace on his left knee, but was a full participant in individual drills for the second straight day. Latu missed Saturday's game against USC.
- Sophomore tight end Thomas Hudson practiced with the tight ends Wednesday a day after practicing with the defensive ends for the first time in his career. Hudson has practiced with the tight ends since arriving at ASU.
- Junior cornerback Maurice Chandler wore a green jersey during Tuesday's practice, but was out of the green jersey Wednesday and practicing normally.