Todd Graham has been in the game for too long to resort to trickery. The Arizona St. Sun Devils head coach won't let the curiosity of trick plays derail his game plan as his team faces the in-state rival Arizona Wildcats on Friday for the Territorial Cup. There is no need to mix things up with new wrinkles that the team has not done in the past just because they're headed into a hostile environment against a rival. If anything, this is the time to keep it as simple as possible as to avoid mistakes.
"I used to think that when I was younger, but I just haven't tricked too many people in my career and won. So, I kind of like just being fundamentally sound and that is what this game is going to be about."
The Sun Devils come in at 6-5 overall, 4-4 in the Pac-12 and with something to prove. The season didn't go as well as the team would have liked as they lost four straight games during the ‘gauntlet' portion of their schedule with losses to the Oregon Ducks, UCLA Bruins, Oregon St. Beavers and USC Trojans. They would like nothing more than to end on a high note and it will come down to sticking to the basics.
"I told the players today that is going to boil down to the team that can block the best, the team that can tackle the best, the team that is most disciplined. It is a rivalry game so you can throw whatever else has happened up to this game out and you can look at history and it will show you that. Any great rivalry game, that is how it is."
The Sun Devils lost to the Wildcats, 31-27, in Tempe last season.