The drama surrounding Arizona State University and its habit of stealing signals seems to have died down, and with good reason.
It was really as much of a non-story as you could find, with head coach Todd Graham admitting his team attempts to decipher what his team’s opponents are doing. It was all within the rules, and really, it’s up to the Sun Devils’ opponents to ensure their codes are unbreakable.
Utah went to a huddle late in their game against ASU. Oregon made headlines with giant white sheets meant to shield their signals from view, which is a tactic Washington adopted this past Saturday.
The Arizona Wildcats will be the next team to face off with Graham and his Sun Devils, and when asked if his team will change how it calls plays against ASU, UA coach Rich Rodriguez said that is a good question.
“I’ve seen the purple curtains with Washington and what color was Oregon,” he asked, before being informed they were white. “We may go with some fashion design, get some kind of really neat, kind of design and start a new trend in college football.”
The fourth-year coach then joked that it would be a good side business in case anyone in the media wanted to get in on it.
“I don’t think we’ll do the curtain thing, but I understand why,” he said. “But we will have a, I guess, different plan or special plan for that reason because they’re going to try to get your signals and they probably have multiple guys assigned to try to get your signals.
“And so we’ll have different ways to communicate our plays in this weekend.”
Normally the Wildcats have multiple people relaying a variety of signals, and sometimes use pictures to help communicate what the coaches want run.
The way Rodriguez sees it, there is no problem with what Graham and ASU do beacuse it’s up to him and his staff to protect their calls.
“That’s part of the game,” he said of stealing calls. “I think we do that every year, so for us — and anybody that’s been a no-huddle signal team, you better have multiple ways to signal. In particular, when you know a team is that’s part of their plan, which is OK, that’s part of their plan, you better make sure you have a plan, too, to counter that.
“Offense has two distinct advantages: you know where you’re going and when you’re going, you don’t want them to know one of those two advantages, right? So we’ve got to work on that all week.”
Arizona will head to Tempe to take on the Sun Devils Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. and the game can be heard on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM.
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