TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Arizona State made a statement in its last game, routing a ranked opponent for arguably its biggest win in two seasons under coach Todd Graham.
The next step for the 25th-ranked Sun Devils is to build upon it, not let the momentum fizzle after a week of savoring the victory.
But to keep rolling, Arizona State will have to do something it has struggled with in the past: Winning on the road.
And when it comes to that subject, Graham has heard enough about playing in an unfamiliar environment, in cold weather, having to stay in hotel rooms.
"That's all excuses," Graham said Monday during his weekly news conference. "You don't win on the road because you're not prepared, you're not focused and you don't play well. That's it."
The Sun Devils have been solid at home under Graham, going 4-2 at Sun Devil Stadium last season and 5-0 this season.
Arizona State had a few bumps on the road last season, losing at Missouri, Oregon State and Southern California while beating Colorado, California and Arizona.
The Sun Devils haven't spent much time away from the desert this season, but have yet to win, losing 42-28 to then-No. 5 Stanford and 37-34 to Notre Dame in a neutral-site game.
Thursday night's game against Washington State kicks off a big stretch for Arizona State (5-2, 3-1 Pac-12).
The Sun Devils' last game was a rout over then-No. 20 Washington, a victory that moved them back into the rankings and in control of the Pac-12 race. After playing in Pullman, Arizona State still has games at Utah and UCLA, games that could go a long way toward helping them reach their main goal of winning the Pac-12 championship.
"If you want to be a champion and that's what we say we want to be, that's what we talk about that we want to win a championship, no excuses," Graham said. "You go, rain, sleet, snow, Alaska, Maine, it doesn't matter — you've got to go win. That's the mindset."
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