The Arizona State Sun Devils and their fans were fired up for a nationally-televised match-up with the undefeated Oregon Ducks, but the game got out of hand in a hurry. The Ducks built a massive first half lead, and it was all but over before halftime even came. An outcome like that can be tough to handle for a team that spent a bye week preparing for such a big game, but head coach Todd Graham believes his group still has confidence and the leadership to move on.
Graham was asked by reporters at his press conference on Monday if his team has lost confidence after the 43-21 loss to Oregon. The coach didn't believe so:
"If you lose your confidence after one game, you didn't have any. I think our guys are very confident. I read the things that they say. I think we have great leaders on this team. Guys have really emerged as great leaders. (Alden) Darby is one of them. The way they responded during the game told me a lot about their character. If one setback makes you play without confidence, then you didn't have any in the first place. I'm not worried about that. I think our guys will come out and play with confidence and get after it."
The Sun Devils now host an important Pac-12 South game on Saturday against UCLA. ASU is tied with the USC Trojans in the loss column for the division lead, and needs a win to keep pace. The Bruins are 2-2 in league play and still have a shot at the South crown, with this contest against ASU and the rivalry meeting with USC still to come.