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ASU’s Todd Graham not worried about weather, focused on mental toughness

LISTEN: Todd Graham, ASU Football coach

The weather forecast for Thursday night in Pullman, Washington doesn’t look too inviting to visitors from Tempe, Arizona.

Come game time at Martin Stadium, the temperatures could be in the high 30s or low 40s and the conditions could be wet when the 25th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils visit the Washington State Cougars in a nationally televised Thursday night ESPN tilt.

ASU head coach Todd Graham isn’t too worried about it.

“Not at all, I haven’t even looked at it to be real honest with you,” the second-year head coach told Doug and Wolf Wednesday on Arizona Sports 620. Graham said that despite his lack of concern about Mother Nature’s effect, the coaches will prepare the players for the conditions.

“We’ll tell them, just like we would any week, preparing them if we’re going to have a wet ball,” he said. “The main thing is just not to be distracted by all that. That’s part of the game. We try to embrace it, more than worry about it.

“You don’t ignore stuff like that, because it could be a factor in the game. Rain, sleet, snow, cold, hot, it doesn’t matter — you should take the approach of being mentally tough — if not, it becomes an excuse.”

ASU certainly isn’t the first team to travel to the Palouse to play the Cougars, and plenty of visiting teams have played in far more adverse conditions.

In the last five seasons, Washington State is just 3-7 in home games played on Halloween or later. However, one of those wins came against Arizona State.

The Cougs downed the Devils 37-27 in November of 2011 behind quarterback Connor Halliday’s 494 passing yards and four touchdowns. Kickoff temperature that night was 32 degrees.

“Well, last time you went up there, the weather was cold — to me, that’s an excuse for not being mentally prepared to play the game,” Graham said. “This is a tough game for tough people and so you’ve got to play in all types of weather conditions.”