In a long-awaited matchup for ASU fans, the Oregon Ducks will be coming to Tempe on Thursday night, holding the third spot in the BCS polls and the second ranking in the AP polls. Arizona State, on the contrary, is not ranked as a top 25 team by either outlet.
The Devils, although at home, open as a +9 underdog. Oregon's fast-paced offense and swarming defense will be a tough test for coach Todd Graham's young team, but if they can pull off the win, it would be a huge victory for Sparky.
A win for the Sun Devils would put an end to the talk of their inadequacy. Analysts continue to downplay the Devils' success, stating that they have bulked up their record against backup quarterbacks and lesser teams.
In anticipation of the match, ASU has asked all that are attending the game to wear black as a way to "black out" the visiting Ducks. Players such as Brandon Magee, Will Sutton and Carl Bradford will need to have the biggest games of their young, yet illustrious careers in order to take out one of the top teams in the country.
If they somehow pull off the upset, not only will they solidify themselves as a top 25 team, they will also be sending notice to the rest of the Pac-12 that they are the real deal. Coach Graham's high-tempo offense will need to avoid mistakes, which is something quarterback Taylor Kelly has done a good job of so far this season.
ASU is projected to be in the Pinstripe Bowl in New York this winter, but will greatly improve their status if they win this game. In fact, a victory may even help spring the team to a Rose Bowl appearance, with any luck. That may seem a bit out of the question, but a win over Oregon does not make it far-fetched.
This game means everything to the Sun Devils and their fans. So, if you consider yourself a supporter of Sparky, make your way to Sun Devil Stadium on Thursday night. You are sure to see a firework display on the field, regardless of who wins.