Arizona State seeks first USC-Irish double
When putting together a schedule, seeing USC and Notre Dame on back-to-back weeks has to be intimidating.
Not to Arizona State coach Todd Graham, whose No. 22 Sun Devils (3-1) can become the first team to beat the Trojans and Fighting Irish in consecutive weeks during the same season by defeating Notre Dame (3-2) on Saturday at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
"Obviously, we are going there to play and it is a big deal for us," Graham said. "Our guys will be very motivated to play in this game. It is a national game. It is a game that is very important."
Led by quarterback Taylor Kelly, the Sun Devils racked up 612 yards last week in a 62-41 blowout win against USC, which had not allowed more than 285 yards or 14 points.
Arizona State, 11th in the FBS in scoring (44.3 ppg) and 15th in total offense (505 ypg), has scored 90 points over its last six quarters, going back to a 42-28 loss at No. 5 Stanford when it trailed 29-0 at the half.
Kelly ranks third in the FBS with 342.5 passing yards per game.
"I think he is still learning and I think he is still getting better," Graham said. "There were some things we did last week that we want to focus on. One of the big things was his ability to hurt people with his legs."
Notre Dame has lost three straight games to ranked opponents and would like to see its passing game get back on track.
"I've got a football team we're trying to work with and develop," Irish coach Brian Kelly said. "You guys can have your own comments and decide what happens and put us in any bowl you want."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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