Saturday’s ASU Senior Night more meaningful for Todd Graham

Arizona Sports News online

They say all good things must come to an end.

Arizona State head coach, Todd Graham, for one, wishes this one wouldn’t.

27 Sun Devil seniors will play their final regular season home game Saturday night as ASU trying to keep the Territorial Cup in Tempe when they host Arizona.

It’s been quite a transition for many of these players.  Most were recruited by former head coach Dennis Erickson and his staff who were let go or left to pursue other interests following the 2011 season. Graham and his high-speed, hands-on staff took over and demanded significantly more on and off the field.

Players were held accountable for their dress, their manners and how they represented Sun Devil football. Most needed the direction and leadership. Some didn’t like it, but Graham’s style and philosophy has produced 17 wins (and counting) and a Pac-12 South Championship. He said the class has worked harder than any he’s ever had and has been as challenging a class as he’s worked with.

“I know there were times where they may have scratched their head at what some of the things I’ve asked them to do,” Graham said earlier this week. “Good, bad or indifferent it’s been such a drastic change. I’m very grateful to them that they gave me the opportunity and they bought into it.”

The Sun Devils (9-2, 7-1) are still thinking big in 2013. A win over the Wildcats (7-4, 4-4) would secure a date with Pac-12 North Champion Stanford (9-2, 7-2) next weekend at Sun Devil Stadium. A loss to UofA would shift the venue to Palo Alto.

“Our one focus is getting this [senior] group to the Rose Bowl and winning it,” Graham explained. “Obviously, that’s what’s on our minds right now.”

Kickoff is set for 7:30 at Sun Devil Stadium.