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ASU enjoys ‘best Thursday’ practice

September 6, 2012: Sun Devils ready for Illinois

ASU held its final practice ahead of Saturday’s game against Illinois. Head coach Todd Graham called it “our best Thursday”.

Graham is interested in seeing how his team responds to
having less time to prepare for an opponent. “We’re a lot better preparing than we were last week,” he said.

He’s also interested to see how his team reacts to difficult game situations. “We faced no adversity last week. We’ll face adversity this week.”

Graham was asked about the uncertainty of Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase, who suffered an ankle injury in last week’s win over Western Michigan. “There’s no uncertainty on my part,” Graham said. “That’s just stuff that you guys write about. The guy is going to play.”

LB Brandon Magee “got a little dinged” in practice and was held out as a precaution.

DL Mike Pennel will serve a one-game suspension for “not meeting our standards. We’ll have him back next week,” Graham said.

Pennel didn’t offer specifics on the violation, but did own up to it on Twitter: