As football teams make their way through their schedule one-by-one, coaches more often than not will tell every game is important and no more important than all the rest.
However, with a win locking Arizona State into the Pac-12 Championship game and a shot at the Rose Bowl, head coach Todd Graham is not shying away from the magnitude of this particular game.
“It’s hard for me not to point to the game because we have been talking about winning a championship game for two years,” Graham said at his weekly press conference on Monday.
However, just because Graham notes that this game has a different feel and is at a whole other level, the week of preparation and focus is no different.
“I really don’t think how I act in a week is going to change a whole lot,” Graham mentioned. “I think it’s what you do the whole year. A team can’t just be mature one week. I think we have matured a great deal.”
“I am not going to act any different than I do any other week,” he added. “But it this a big game? Yeah it’s a big game.”
In just two years, this matchup between the Sun Devils and Bruins have had pretty much the same ramifications. What put UCLA in the conference championship game was their win they had against ASU at Sun Devil Stadium last season. If they fall again to the Bruins, the Devils won’t be out of the championship game necessarily as UCLA has to face a hot USC team the final week of the season.
But ASU wan’t to control their own destiny this time around and that is done with a win at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
“If you asked me my feelings last week (against Oregon State), I just wanted to get that game won so we could move onto this one,” stated Graham. “I was really concerned and really focused on Oregon State. That doesn’t mean I was looking ahead…That’s probably not the right answer but that’s a fact.”
Sports360AZ will be in Los Angeles for coverage of the big game against the Bruins. Brad Cesmat will host his show from the Rose Bowl Friday and will have live coverage from the game on Saturday.