Graham, Sun Devils Ignoring the Noise

Right now Arizona State head coach Todd Graham isn’t worried about the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

Nor does he care to test the luck of the Irish…at least for another week.

Graham isn’t concerned about playoff rankings or next weekend’s showdown against Notre Dame in Tempe. The focus is 17th-ranked Utah with their stout defense and improving offense. ASU will be put to the test under the lights at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday night with kickoff expected shortly after 8:00.

The resilient Sun Devils (6-1, 4-1) have essentially owned the Utes (6-1, 3-1), winning the last 10 including last year’s 20-19 comeback thriller in Salt Lake City. This a different season and different team. One which could easily be undefeated had Utah not melted down in a one-point home loss to conference bottom-feeder Washington State in late September.

“You better be ready and have your chinstrap buckled,” ASU legend, now Pac-12 Network analyst Jake Plummer told Sports360AZ.com in his weekly segment about Kyle Whittingham’s team. “Not only on offense and defense but you better be sure you’re able to go on special teams because they excel at that.”

All points of interest Graham and his staff have been made well aware of this week as the 14th-ranked Devils look to extend their win streak to four after a hard-earned win over Washington in windy Seattle last weekend. Their recent play has caught the attention of Whittingham who knows the Devils’ athleticism is some of the best in the Pac-12.

“Very balanced football team, very talented football team,” Whittingham told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat Tuesday morning. “They’ve got two excellent quarterbacks…they seem to be proficient with both of them. Outstanding receiver in [Jaelen] Strong…defensively…they’re playing defense like they have the past couple years.”

The Notre Dame game and all the hype surrounding it can wait.

It’s Utah week.

A Valley native, Eric has had a passion for the Arizona sports scene since an early age. He has covered some of the biggest events including Super Bowls, national championships and the NBA and MLB playoffs in his near 20 years in local media.