Arizona State football coach Todd Graham and his staff are putting the finishing touches on their game plan for the Sun Devils’ 2013 season opener Thursday evening against Sacramento State. Graham met with the media on Monday to provide the latest updates.
Looking ahead to the match-up with the Hornets, Graham expressed confidence in his team’s game preparations. “I think they are ready to play,” he said. “I don’t think I have ever had a bye week in the first week. I think it has been a positive for us because we have a lot of newcomers and injuries. But our guys are ready to play.”
While indicating the Sun Devils are anxious to take on their first opponent of the season, Graham also expressed caution regarding the opening contest. He said, “I have been on that side a lot coming from mid-major programs. I know how we prepared. It is their entire season. It can make their entire season. I haven’t sat there and told our players you better get prepared or you will get beat. I tell them that the key is that they have no excuse. We can’t make any excuses. This is a game we should win.
“I have confidence in our guys. I think they are mature enough to understand that any team can beat you. You see it happening all over the country.”
Sacramento State presents a challenge for ASU due to their experience and talent at key skill positions, according to Graham. “Their quarterback is very efficient. In the first game their offense wasn’t very indicative of how good they are…very good wideout, good wide receivers. Just like any team, they have got good skill players. They are well-coached on offense, in the kicking game.”
Graham concluded, “The key for us is not turning the ball over and not beating ourselves in the kicking game.”