Tape It Up: Arizona State: Nagging Thumb

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Arizona State: Nagging Thumb

Arizona State appeared to be in good shape Saturday afternoon. The Sun Devils held off UCLA, 24-20, to secure a 9-1 record and avoided what some predicted would be an inevitable drop-off after the previous week's loss to Oregon. But the Sun Devils may be in worse shape as they are letting on, as quarterback Rudy Carpenter's thumb is still not 100 percent healthy, and the Sun Devils don't want anyone under center but the guy that brought them this far.

There was no official news released on the state of Carpenter's thumb, which he initially hurt in the win over Cal two weeks ago, but Carpenter told the East Valley Tribune that his thumb "popped."

"It hurts like hell right now," Carpenter said after the win. "It doesn't feel good."

Carpenter will undergo further evaluation this week to determine the state of that sore thumb, which was definitely bothering Carpenter during the game. He sat out an entire series halfway through the final quarter after hitting the thumb during the third down play of the Sun Devils' previous possession.

The QB, known for showing his passion on the field, will most likely keep playing unless he can't effectively grip the ball, which was the case during that missed series on Saturday. During the final series he played, Carpenter did not throw a pass, which does not bode well for the No. 9 Sun Devils. It also does not bode well that Carpenter was sacked five times on Saturday and spent a signficant amount of time grabbing at his thumb, but he did complete 16 of his 31 pass attempts for 200 yards, a touchdown and no picks.

There is no question that Carpenter is a warrior, and thankfully, the Sun Devils have a full 10 days to rest before they take on USC on Thanksgiving night. Hopefully, Carpenter's thumb will be back to full strength by then and Arizona State can play itself into a trip right back to where the team came from this week - the Rose Bowl.

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