Sun Devils gearing up for first road test

Arizona Sports News online

The Arizona State Sun Devil football team has looked lights out through two games in 2012. But both games have been at home. Now comes the difficult task of having to win on the road.

If it’s any indication from what we saw last weekend with Nebraska and Oklahoma State losing, getting road wins is as difficult as ever. And the Sun Devils will look to do so against an SEC team. A conference that ASU is 0-5 all-time against.

“If you want to be a championship caliber team, you’ve got to go on the road and you’ve got to win,” explained ASU head coach Todd Graham. “That’s just the way it is…It’s the hardest thing to do in college football.”

That SEC team however is a new one to the conference and a familiar foe to the Sun Devils. The Missouri Tigers.

Despite being winless against the SEC, ASU is not winless against Missouri with their most recent win, a thrilling 37-30 overtime win at Sun Devil Stadium last season. That win evened the all-time series between the two teams at three wins a piece.

Since Todd Graham took over as head coach, the Sun Devils have not traveled. So this will be another first for this unit. Graham said he plans to bring the same signs and air fresheners the team has in their home locker room and plans to walk the Missouri field with the team before Saturday.

The Tigers themselves are coming off a tough loss to a very good Georgia team. They are led by junior quarterback James Franklin who is currently Missouri’s 2nd most efficient passer of all time. He throws to T.J. Moe, Marcus Lucas and L’Damien Washington who are all off to great starts this season.

“I am excited to so how out guys do respond because I’ll tell you, this is a really really good football team,” explained Graham. “I can tell you from an offensive stand point, it would be hard to see one that was any better.”

Playing on the road will be a very important test for the Sun Devils this week as they are hoping to continue to grow as a team in a positive direction. Graham believes the work that his players have put in to this point have put them in position to succeed.

“I think road games are won in April and in June and July,” Graham added. “With what we’ve done to this point, I don’t think has a lot to do with what plays we’re running. I think it has everything to do with the training we’ve put these guys through.”

ASU kicks-off against Missouri on Saturday at 4 pm from Memorial Stadium in Columbus, MO.

A born and bred Arizonan, Jared has had great passion for the hometown teams all his life. He now channel's that passion into covering the pro, college and high school teams around the state as a Multimedia Reporter for Sports360AZ.