Nearly two weeks ago, redshirt junior quarterback Trenton Bourguet led ASU to a stunning 45-38 upset over then-No. 21 Washington. In the win, Bourguet showed such an impressive command of the offense that it led fans to speculate if there were a quarterback controversy in Tempe.
Flashback three and a half years ago, Bourguet didn't even know if he was going to play Division I football.
"After my senior season, no schools (had) offered me," Bourguet said. "By April, I was less than a month from graduating, and I still had no idea where I was going."
This was unexpected as Bourguet lit up the field at Marana High School in Tucson, breaking the Arizona 5A state record for touchdown passes with 89. Bourguet didn't commit as a walk-on at ASU until April 26, 2019, after receiving zero Division I offers.
Bourguet spent the next four years working his way up from the scout team to backup quarterback, where he saw the field five times before this season, all in a reserve role. Going into this season, Bourguet became the definitive number two option for the Sun Devils.
"I've been preparing these last four years like I’m the starter," Bourguet said. "My time here has really helped me to know that once I get my opportunity, I have to make sure to not overthink it and just do what I’m here to do."
Bourguet's preparation and patience finally paid off against the Huskies when he entered the game during the Sun Devils' first drive of the second quarter. Starting junior quarterback Emory Jones took a hit to the head while sliding and had to exit the game.
The fourth-year quarterback handed the ball off to graduate student running back Xazavian Valladay for an 11-yard touchdown on his first play on the field. From there, Bourguet didn't just fill in as the backup quarterback, he took over the game.
"He has traits of a great quarterback because he knows how to anticipate and get the guys to rally around him," coach Shaun Aguano said. "I've seen that leadership in him. I always said that once you have an opportunity, make sure you take advantage of it."
On the next drive, Bourguet conducted an 11-play drive which ended in a 14-yard pass to Valladay for a touchdown, recording his first touchdown pass of the season and the second of his ASU career.
He picked apart the Huskies' defense in the second half, guiding the Sun Devils to two more touchdown drives. A 10-play drive concluding with a 2-yard touchdown pass to redshirt sophomore wide receiver Elijhah Badger with seven and half minutes left in the 4th quarter sealed the game for ASU.
"He (Bourguet) came in comfortable, and I was comfortable with him coming in," Badger said. "It was a great team win, and we brought it home for the ASU community. We needed that."
Bourguet finished the day with 182 passing yards and three touchdowns while completing 71 percent of his passes. The Sun Devils scored on five of their last eight possessions while Bourguet was in the game.
For his remarkable performance, Bourguet received national attention when he was named Manning Award Quarterback of the Week for week six of college football. It was the Sun Devils' first win in over a month and their first under Aguano.
"I'm just going to try and do my job for the rest of the season," Bourguet said. "It just boosts my confidence to know that my teammates and coaches believe in me and I have their trust, and I one hundred percent trust in them as well."
Bourguet won’t be starting for ASU this weekend, but he expressed that he'll continue to prepare like the starter and focus on the things only he can control going forward.
ASU comes back from a bye week this Saturday to take on Stanford in Palo Alto at 1 p.m MST.
Edited by Kathryn Field, David Rodish and Grace Copperthite.
Vincent Deangelis is a full-time reporter for the sports department at The State Press. He has previously worked for Arizona PBS and AZPreps365.com.