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Noon kickoff doesn’t faze Arizona State

For decades, football under the lights on a Saturday (or occasional Thursday) night has become synonymous with Arizona State football.

While college fans on the east coast are going to bed or heading out for the evening, the Sun Devils are typically just kicking off.

That’s not the case this week, when Todd Graham’s ASU squad plays host to the UCLA Bruins in a battle of 5-2 teams at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe. Kickoff is scheduled for noon and the game will be televised by FX.

Football players, and coaches for that matter, are creatures of habit. Take the example of Northwestern, who had to officially schedule a team nap time because their 2:30 p.m. kickoff against Nebraska last Saturday conflicted with the players’ normal trip to Snoozeville.

So will kicking off seven hours before normal be that big a factor for the Sun Devils?

“I kind of like the noon game,” Graham said Tuesday. “I don’t like sitting around all day on Saturday. I do like the night atmosphere, so there’s good and bad to it.

“We take what they give us and we like whatever they pick, we’ll play at any time of the day. I’d play at 8 o’clock in the morning — it would be fine with me.”

Well that won’t happen any time soon, but the players don’t seem to be that concerned with the drastic change to their game day schedule, either.

“We’ll change our schedule up a little bit and have more meetings that Friday night and our meetings will be bumped up sooner,” ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly said.