ATK Exclusive: Quarterback Preview
By: John Harris
This week in College Station, one simple decision became a breaking news story. Last year’s hot shot freshman QB beat out this year’s hot shot freshman QB and the college football world is still talking about it, in some way, shape or form.
As Kyle Allen withstood the push from Kyler Murray to re-take the QB reins in Aggieland, there was, and will be, no such controversy brewing in Tempe, Arizona. Mike Bercovici was far from a household name heading into the 2014 season but as soon as the Sun Bowl clock hit zeroes to end the season, Sun Devil faithful were already looking forward to the Bercovici Takover in 2015. Throughout the spring, rumblings out of Tempe were such that ASU head coach Todd Graham was considering altering his highly productive offensive scheme to fit Bercovici’s talent that much better.
Bercovici started all of three games for the Sun Devils in 2014, but he set single game records in those games, most of them coming in a losing effort to UCLA. But, one week following the UCLA loss, Bercovici returned to his home state of California and delivered, arguably, the most memorable pass in Arizona State history. Trailing vaunted USC on the Trojans’ home field by two with seven seconds remaining, the Sun Devils were 46 yards from paydirt – too far for a field goal, not close enough to have many options other than a Hail Mary. Bercovici did some arm circles before the snap to loosen up his strong right arm. He launched one high in the air and it looked a punt about to land in a USC defender’s arms. That Trojan never caught the ball though because current Houston Texan Jaelen Strong jumped in front to make the catch and set off bedlam in the Coliseum.
Bercovici will forever be known for that one throw, but he’s got of all 2015 to make sure that Sun Devils fans remember more than just one pass.