Other than a few of ASU football’s redshirt seniors, the Sun Devil players and coaches will be making their first trip to Palo Alto, Calif.
Going up against a conference opponent in No. 5 Stanford and having high expectations for the rest of the season has given No. 23 ASU a new dynamic this year.
One thing that won’t change, however, is ASU coach Todd Graham’s approach to road games.
“I don’t like changing nothing,” he said. “I’ll do the same thing every day. … I think kids want to be comfortable. They want to be in a routine. Enjoy it, man. I want them to enjoy the plane ride, enjoy the people they meet, enjoy the experience, play that game in their head as many times as they can. When they know what to expect, they can plan their trip.”
Graham said the team’s road traditions he started last year will continue this year.
The Sun Devils will bring the air fresheners from the home locker room and have a team walk through on the opponent’s field the day before the game.
Graham said it’s important for the players to visit the away stadium before to adjust to it before the game, instead of being in shock before they play.
They must do it at Stanford Stadium, a place ASU hasn’t traveled to since 2009.
“I never want to play in a stadium that I haven’t seen,” Graham said. “It goes back to when I was in high school. We’d go play at Texas Stadium in the playoffs. The first time we went out there, we didn’t go practice there and (we had) kids going like, ‘Whoa.’”
Graham said he will tell his team that the field they are playing on in Stanford is 53 feet wide and 100 yards long, “just like on the field we play (on) every day.”
Players and coaches have been saying all week that this will probably be the Sun Devils’ biggest game they’ll play all season.
Graham once again listed 100 percent ball security and minimal turnovers as the keys for this week. If ASU executes those goals, Graham said his team has a great chance for pulling off an upset.
“We’ve prepared well,” Graham said. “It’s not up to my satisfaction, but we’re getting there. I feel really good.”
- Freshmen linebackers Alani Latu and Chans Cox wore green no-contact jerseys for Thursday’s practice. Cox left Wednesday’s practice early with an apparent left bicep injury. Latu seemed to have twisted his ankle on Wednesday and limped around throughout Thursday’s practice.
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