ASU football’s Kenny Dillingham expects sellout vs. Colorado to boost program
Oct 6, 2023, 8:29 AM
(Jeremy Schnell/Arizona Sports)
Arizona State football will play in a sold-out Mountain America Stadium for the second straight home game as Deion Sanders and the Colorado Buffaloes come to Tempe on Saturday.
The last Sun Devils home game against USC on Sept. 23 also sold out of tickets for the 42-28 Trojans victory.
Saturday’s matchup will be between two programs under new head coaches, and ASU’s Kenny Dillingham believes the environment will be a tool for not only his players but the future of the program.
“Just fired up,” Dillingham told Arizona Sports’ Bickley & Marotta on Friday. “Talking to (associate athletic director for media relations) Doug Tammaro this morning, he said it could be the first time in the last 15 years there’s been back-to-back sellouts. Just people don’t understand the value that adds to our players, the juice it brings not just for this year but for future years when we have a bunch of recruits here.”
ASU had three straight sellouts in 2007.
The Sun Devil Hall of Fame will also induct six new members at halftime of Saturday’s game, including football standout Shaun McDonald.
McDonald played at Shadow Mountain High School before becoming a two-time 1,000-yard receiver at ASU. He reached the NFL, and Dillingham looks forward to showing recruits a local player who made it from ASU.
“They get to see a sellout crowd and they get to see Shaun McDonald, another local legend here, go into the ASU Hall of Fame which is going to be a pretty cool weekend,” Dillingham said.
Dillingham and Sanders are both attempting to build culture within their new programs, and the ASU head coach said no two circumstances are the same even if some general philosophies overlap.
He complimented Sanders’ start to the year after Colorado finished 1-11 in 2022.
ASU is coming off consecutive competitive losses to USC and Cal, while CU started 3-0 before falling to Oregon and USC.
“It’s a testament to him, being able to bring in an elite quarterback of that nature (Shadeur Sanders) — who happens to be his son, which is even nicer — and combine that with the effort they’re bringing. He’s doing a really nice job,” Dillingham said.
ASU’s defensive backs
On the injury front, Dillingham said nickel back Jordan Clark will be a game-time decision, while Macen Williams is expected to play.
Clark did not participate in ASU’s 24-21 loss at Cal, while Williams exited early.