Northern Arizona Vs. Arizona State Football Preview: Sun Devils Football Is Back With In-State Opener

TEMPE, AZ - OCTOBER 29: Quarterback Taylor Kelly #10 of the Arizona State Sun Devils rushes the football past David Goldberg #55 of the Colorado Buffaloes during the college football game at Sun Devil Stadium on October 29, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. The Sun Devils defeated the Buffaloes 48-14. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Todd Graham era at ASU begins as the Sun Devils open the 2012 season this Thursday with a game against Northern Arizona.

The Arizona St. Sun Devils open the 2012 season, their first under new Head Coach Todd Graham, at home against in-state foe Northern Arizona on Thursday at 7:30 p.m. PT/10:30 p.m. ET.

Graham was hired after the 2011 Sun Devils finished the season on a seven-game losing streak, going from 6-2 and Pac-12 South favorites to getting beat 56-24 by Boise State in the MAACO Bowl in Las Vegas.

Following ASU's recent camp and scrimmage at Camp Tontozona, Graham named redshirt sophomore Taylor Kelly the starting quarterback. Redshirt freshman Michael Eubank is also expected to take a good portion of the snaps for the Sun Devils. It is the fifth straight season that the Sun Devils will open the year with a new staring QB.

NAU returns running back Zach Bauman who rushed for 1,435 yards and 15 touchdowns last year as well as senior quarterback Cary Grossart who threw for 2,745 yards last season and 16 TDs. The Lumberjacks were picked to finish seventh by the coaches and ninth by the media in the Big Sky preseason media poll.

The last time time the two teams met was two years ago on September 11, 2010 when ASU beat NAU 41-20. The Lumberjacks haven't defeated ASU since 1938.

Game time, TV channel: 10:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Point spread: No Spread

For news, discussion and more:

For more on ASU football, visit Arizona State blog House Of Sparky, plus Pac-12 blog Pacific Takes and SB Nation Arizona.

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