Facing his final year with the Sun Devils, ASU redshirt senior quarterback Taylor Kelly has a real chance to make a lasting legacy and leave campus with his name on many pages of the program’s record books.
Kelly already has multiple school records under his belt heading into his third year of being a full-time starter. In 2012, he completed over 67 percent of his 359 passes, which is the highest percentage of any ASU quarterback who has thrown over 301 attempts.
Kelly also sits atop the career completion percentage list with a .646 mark, and barring a disastrous senior year he should cruise for the title with second-place being Rudy Carpenter’s .610.
The 4,243 combined passing and rushing yards gained from the Eagle, Idaho, native last year is also an ASU season record for total offense.
This season, ASU figures to once again be a pass-happy offense. Don’t be surprised to see many school records being rewritten, starting with Brock Osweiler’s 516 passing attempts in the 2011 season.
Osweiler is the only ASU quarterback to attempt more than 500 throws in one season, but Kelly’s 484 last year is second on the list. Kelly threw more than 120 attempts from his sophomore season to his junior year, and that number should be expected to rise. The Sun Devils have receiving threats everywhere, and even their running back, junior D.J. Foster, is a pass-catching weapon.
Kelly also needs just 25 more completions than he had last year to set the season record for completions, also set by Osweiler in 2011 with 326. Kelly is also on pace to break the career record for completions, needing 253 more to beat Carpenter’s 799.
Both the season and career records for touchdown passes are also within Kelly’s sight. He has already come close twice to matching the season record of 30 set by Andrew Walter in 2004, having thrown 29 and 28 touchdowns in his sophomore and junior seasons respectively.
Even if Kelly falls one touchdown pass short of matching the season record, he will still set the career record which is 85 held by Walter.
The career record for passing yards is also within reach, but it would take a monster season from Kelly in which he would have to throw for over 3,900 yards, which is roughly 300 more yards than he threw for last season.
Redshirt junior wide receiver and Kelly’s favorite target, Jaelen Strong also has a chance to make his own mark on the record book.
In just his first year with the Sun Devils, Strong led ASU in all major receiving categories with 75 receptions for 1,122 yards and seven touchdowns.
His 75 catches was the fifth most by a Sun Devil player in a season, and 13 more this season would break Shaun McDonald’s record of 87 receptions in 2002.
Strong, who is projected by many to be a first round pick in next year’s NFL draft, had the sixth most receiving yards in a season in school history last year. The record is held by McDonald’s 2002 season with 1,405 yards, but it is not out of the question that Strong could break that record as well.
Reach the reporter at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @HKossodo