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Missouri is Defining Game for Sun Devil Football

Published: Thursday, September 13, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, September 19, 2012 16:09

ASU Football

Arizona State University

Entering a critical Week 3 game against the Missouri Tigers, the Sun Devils still have a lot to prove to their fans.

After a dominating 63-6 beat down of the Northern Arizona Lumberjacks and a hard fought test blow out against the Illinois Fighting Illini, all of the preseason hype generated by Coach Todd Graham and his team is becoming reality.

The team is “speaking victory” with its “high octane” style of play and new attitude.

However, both games had less than 55,000 fans in attendance, 15,000 less than maximum capacity.

Before the season, Coach Graham said he wanted to shake every Sun Devil’s hand in order to get more people in the seats.

A win against an SEC team like Missouri, the second against them in two years, could earn the Sun Devils a national ranking and some local fan recognition. 

The trend in Arizona has always been the same. Win, and the fans will come.

Last season the Devils did just that. Key wins against Missouri, USC and Utah sparked interest among the shaky ASU fan base and put people in the seats. However, an end of the season collapse has made the program lose all credibility.

The motto last year was “It’s Time.” Well, it’s time again.

With so much optimism surrounding the program with the Graham coaching hire, this is a golden opportunity to prove just how much he has transformed the program since taking over in December.

Can this team win back-to-back non-conference games against BCS conference opponents?

ASU has not won two non-conference games against BCS opponents in the same season since 2004, when they won at Northwestern and upset Iowa at home.

The Devils finished that season with a Sun Bowl victory over Purdue and ranked No. 21 in the nation.

If ASU beats Missouri, they will host Utah in their first Pac 12 conference game of the season with a 3-0 record and a great chance to compete for the Pac 12 South.

In the preseason, this game against Utah was a game in which the Devils were told they have no chance of winning by analysts. But with a 3-0 record and momentum moving forward, this could become their chance to prove the doubters wrong.

Regardless of the outcome, this game in Missouri could prove to be the defining moment of the season.

With a victory, the team has a chance to turn all their lofty goals into reality.

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