Arizona State head coach talks bowl matchup

Arizona State head coach talks bowl matchup

Navy learned on Sunday that it will face Arizona State in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco, Calif., on Dec. 29. Sun Devil head coach Todd Graham discussed Navy and his team heading into the bowl.

On being selected to play in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. Navy.
"I'm very excited obviously. It's a great location for us because of our recruiting base. We go to the Bay Area and obviously California is such an important place for us to recruit, and it's where most of our players' families are, plus we have more than 17,000 alumni in that area, so it's a perfect situation for us. We have the honor of competing against one of the Academies. I've competed against the Naval Academy several times and I can tell you they'll be a formidable opponent - very different, difficult, well-coached and disciplined. I know our guys are excited about that opportunity to play such a prestigious academy and university."

On simulating Navy's offense in preparation for the game.
"Obviously it's completely different and defensively it's tough. You can't underestimate their abilities. We've been working on it for a couple of days and it will take us a while, but it's hard to simulate it in any way, and much more difficult this week. I've spent a lot of time defending that type of offense, so I think we have a pretty god idea of how to do it. It's still not very easy because of the blocking and how they go about it, it's a very difficult scheme to defend. We're preparing for it - it's not easy, but we'll get it done."

On the military appreciation and ties between the military and Arizona State
"You look at the great history that our program has as far as the military and obviously Pat Tillman and the background we have here. It's a great matchup as far as that goes. It's close to Pat's hometown in the Bay Area, so it's going to be a neat experience for us. Having Jake [Sheffield] with us too, there will be a lot of appreciation and a lot of respect for their team going into this game. The things we've done - honor, character, discipline - those are some of the greatest progresses we've made this year, and playing a team that represents and embodies that is a perfect ending for this 2012 season."

On what the team is looking to take away from the bowl game?
"The bowl experience is a great experience, but we're going for our eighth win and winning a bowl championship. It's another step for our football team to take."

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