Even when Arizona State was trailing by 20 points in the fourth quarter of its offensively anemic 40-16 loss at Colorado on Saturday, Chip Lindsey wasn't conflicted about which quarterback should be on the field.
To be sure, Lindsey knew that sophomore Manny Wilkins was playing injured and didn't have anywhere near his normal mobility. But the ASU offensive coordinator had already determined that Wilkins was the only real option.
When asked whether he even considered playing freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole earlier than the team's final offensive series, Lindsey plainly said no.
"Probably not, to be honest with you," Linsdsey said. "Manny gave us our best chance to win. He continues, he'll give us the best chance to win. I think Dillon is progression for sure, but you're asking a guy who was the No. 3 guy, and really the No. 4 guy in camp to all of a sudden be able to catch on in a Pac-12 league. I think he's making progress and obviously if he plays we've got to make sure we put him in a good position to be successful, but I do think he's progressing and I'm pleased with his progress."
Wilkins completed just 13 of his 35 for 149 yards and the Sun Devils had just 199 total yards, their worst offensive output since 2012 against USC. But Lindsey felt the Sun Devils didn't put him in a position to be more successful given his limitations. ASU had just 50 rushing yards on 28 carries on the night.
"I thought Manny did everything he could do to be honest with you," Lindsey said. "He's a guy who is extremely tough. He gave us the best chance to win and he played as hard as he could. We didn't do enough around him to help him. That was a big part of us not doing as well as we wanted. We needed to run the ball better to help him out but I thought he handled himself really well.
You can definitely tell a difference (with his mobility). Obviously, his ability to escape and make plays when things break down. I thought under the circumstances he did a pretty good job but at the end of the day we've got to help him and do a better job all the way around."