TEMPE, Ariz. — Taylor Kelly will not play against No. 11 UCLA. Arizona State acknowledged it more than a week before the game.

Beyond that, well, we’ll have to wait and see; the 15th-ranked Sun Devils are keeping a lid on their injured quarterback’s availability until after backup Mike Bercovici plays against the Bruins.

UCLA is taking a different tack with its quarterback’s status.

Brett Hundley may play against Arizona State after injuring his left arm in UCLA’s last game. Then again, he may not. The Bruins aren’t saying.

Regardless of UCLA’s Hundley rope-a-dope, the Sun Devils have a pretty good idea who’ll be under center Thursday night at Sun Devil Stadium.

“No doubt in my mind, we’re planning for their quarterback to play,” Arizona State coach Todd Graham said Monday.

The hush-hush on Hundley has added a layer of intrigue to the first regular-season matchup between ranked opponents in Tempe since 2007.

Not that it needed any.

Arizona State still sees Arizona as its top rival and the Bruins will always want to beat Southern California more than any other team.

Beyond that, this budding cross-state rivalry is quickly becoming the top game on the schedule for both teams.

For one, the schools compete for many of the same recruits.

Southern California is a rich bed of talent that the Sun Devils have attempted to harvest in Graham’s three years as coach. Beating one of the teams you’re competing with for a recruit could go a long way toward swaying his decision.

On the field, the Bruins and Sun Devils have essentially played a de facto Pac-12 South title game the past two seasons.

In 2012, the first season for Graham at ASU and Jim Mora at UCLA, the Bruins came into the desert and rode off with a wild 45-43 win on a last-second field goal. UCLA still had some work …read more