Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Players primed and ready for blackout

Sometimes gimmicks are needed to freshen up something stale.

Neither new uniforms nor national television cameras change talent.

But they certainly seem to affect everything else.

On Friday night, the ASU football team will debut its all-black gear in front of a blacked-out Sun Devil Stadium under the primetime lights of ESPN against No. 21 Missouri.

And with the spotlight comes a chance to do something special.

The last time the Sun Devils (1-0) hosted a ranked non-conference team was in 2008, when then-No. 3 Georgia routed ASU 27-10.

The last time the Sun Devils beat a ranked non-conference opponent at home was in 2004 when ASU upset then-No. 16 Iowa in front of a capacity crowd.

Those are the things that Friday night’s game against the Tigers (1-0) has the chance to measure up to.

“This is a game we’ve had circled for a very long time,” ASU junior quarterback Brock Osweiler said. “We don’t like to look ahead but I know when I was recruited to come here, this was a game we talked about.”

And rightfully so.

ASU won’t compete with any other football game Friday for the attention of the nation.

“It’s good exposure for us,” coach Dennis Erickson said. “Plus it’s not bad financially either.  We’re excited to be on a national stage and when we’re the only game out there.”

The Sun Devils will be dressed to impress for the occasion too. They’ll don the school’s much-anticipated black jerseys for the first time.

“Everyone is excited to finally see them; it should be nice,” sophomore cornerback Osahon Irabor said. “There is a different feel leading up to this game.”

But when the ball first kicks off, all the extra hype will go away.

At least, it will for the players and coaches.

“It’s not the unis, but who’s in the unis that matter,” Erickson said. “There’s a lot of things involved in this game on campus and it’ll be an emotional, exciting time for our football team. Not only because of the uniforms, but because we are playing a heck of a good football team.”

And that makes the stage even brighter — a clash of two teams poised to make a normal season into a special one.

“This game means a lot to us,” Irabor said. “But when it finally starts, you don’t think about the cameras when you’re on the field, you’re just focusing on your job.”

Friday is the night most fans pointed to on the schedule to see what kind of team ASU has. Will it rise to the occasion or crumble beneath the expectations?

That’s what’s on the shoulders of the Sun Devils this week.

“I wouldn’t want it any other way,” Osweiler said. “It gives our football an opportunity to show what we’re truly made of this year. One thing I can promise you is we will be prepared and ready.” Reach the reporter at


Click here to subscribe to the daily State Press newsletter.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.