All this week, Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson was preaching that the Washington win last week meant nothing if the Sun Devils did not defeat the Stanford Cardinal this Saturday.
Well, the game is rapidly approaching, and the ASU football team is still riding the wave of momentum following their last second, game-winning touchdown against Washington.
Believe it or not, the man leading the charge is Senior quarterback Danny Sullivan. The Bay Area native said that "the monkey has been lifted off my back," referring to his late-game heroics versus the Huskies last weekend, while looking forward to showing his area what he has transformed himself into.
But as the Sun Devils have shown this week, this road game is not a nice visit home. This is in fact a business trip to Palo Alto, CA. While many Sun Devils have ties to the Golden State, the only satisfaction Erickson's squad will receive following this game is a win.
This sentiment was felt by every member of the team following Thursday's practice. Dennis Erickson made sure his squad finished plays, played physical in practice, and ensured his team was accountable.
Without a doubt, the Sun Devils know how much this game means for the rest of their season. If Arizona State can win this game on the road, and improve their record to 5-2 (3-1 in Pac-10 play), then as Erickson said, "We will have a say in who wins the Pacific Ten Conference in 2009."
With a difficult road test awaiting the Sun Devils, ASU cannot afford to look ahead to later contests. The game at hand, is the most important of the season, and the players as well as staff have made that clear.
So, when the ASU football team wakes up tomorrow, in sunny California, the only thing that will be on their mind will be win number five on the season, and one more win until bowl eligibility.