A lot has been made of how ASU sophomore Vontaze Burfict has been playing with the second team. Some in the media suspect something is going on between him and Coach Dennis Erickson. Some of the Sun Devil faithful believe it is a ploy to keep this talented young man hungry and playing hard. All Erickson says is that everyone is probably reading too much into it.
What no one has mentioned is what is the most logical and practical reason.
Remember this hit?
Or this criminal act victimizing an offensive lineman, known more commonly as a pancake?
The coaching staff just doesn't want to get their starters killed in practice, so they keep him with the second team.
As it is, their offensive line has been around the injury block a couple of times. Matt Hustad just called it quits, Jon Hargis is likely out for the season after tearing his ACL, Zach Schlink is also done with football because of his knees, and Adam Tello and Mike Marcisz are just coming back from injuries.
Erickson has said how impressed he is with the depth on the offensive line, but let's be serious, do they want to actually depend on that depth? Depth is like insurance. It's good and advisable to have, but if the time comes that you actually have to use it, it means something bad happened.
Factor in also the fact that none of the three possible starting quarterbacks have much starting experience. The last thing they need is to have a shell-shocked starter before he takes the field against Portland State.
So say what you want about possible issues or with motivational techniques. Football is war, but no one wants casualties before the enemy is even in sight.
Unleash the beast on Sept. 4, not before. He will be an effective weapon of mass destruction. Don't kill your own people.