The Sun Devils’ offense sputtered in September and Graham’s defense was filled with inconsistency throughout most of the season. The once lofty summer expectations were silenced as critics questioned everyone from Graham and former deputy head coach Mike Norvell, to ASU’s new Adidas look. Now Graham’s maroon and gold gang (6-6) will look to kickstart 2016 with a Cactus Bowl win over West Virginia (7-5) Saturday night at Chase Field.
“It’s a great way to end the season,” ASU legend, now Pac-12 Network Analyst Jake Plummer told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat Tuesday. “There should be no problem there to be motivated. You want to end with a winning season. Right now sitting at .500 and if they lose they [will] be under .500. That’s not a good way to end the year.”
Plummer has been trading text messages with senior quarterback Mike Bercovici in regards to keeping the young players motivated. The grind of a long, up-and-down season, paired with the stresses of classes and finals earlier this month can be hard mentally and physically on younger players in the program. He believes “Berco” is the type of leader who has, and will continue to, set the right example in preparation for this weekend.
Tick tock, tick tock pic.twitter.com/fnEdIDwP1d
— Sun Devil Football (@FootballASU) December 30, 2015
Plummer believes less is more for Graham who is looking to improve his ASU bowl record to 3-1 with a win over the Mountaineers.
“He’s just got to go out there and coach his style, get after it,” he explained to Cesmat. “He’s going to be aggressive on defense…I want to see guys into it, playing hard with a lot of energy and a lot of life.”
A win would be a nice send off for ASU who’s had well, one devil of a year.