The Arizona State football team (10-3) will write the final chapter of their 2013 season when they face Texas Tech (7-5) Monday night in the Holiday Bowl. Todd Graham will have a little to a hopeful happy ending to the script from someone who knows the Red Raiders quite well.
ASU offensive line coach Chris Thomsen coached Tech in their Meineke Car Care Bowl win over Minnesota last season after Tommy Tuberville left for Cincinnati and before Kliff Kingsbury was hired. Graham said Friday after practice he has talked to Thomsen frequently leading up to the game, specifically on offensive personnel as the Devils try to slow down Kingsbury’s ‘Air Raid’ offense first installed by longtime coach Mike Leach who’s now at Washington State.
One thing we don’t know is who will be trying to get the ball the Raiders skill players. Kingsbury said both sophomore Michael Brewer and freshman Davis Webb have gotten significantly more practice reps after another freshman, walk-on Baker Mayfield transferred. He declined to say who will be the quarterback in the huddle for the first offensive series but expects both will play.
Graham said it’s unlikely senior Marion Grice will play. Grice was hurt late in the win over UCLA and missed both the regular season finale against Arizona and the Pac-12 Championship against Stanford. He has not practiced. Graham initially thought it would only be a 3-4 week injury but has been slow to heal and is doubtful at best.
The two coaches, who openly shared a great amount of respect for one another during Saturday’s press conference, have been on opposing sidelines when Graham was the head coach at Tulsa and Kingsbury the offensive coordinator at the University of Houston.