ASU Alters 2004 Football Schedule

Jan. 13, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz.-Arizona State University has made two significant changes to its 2004 football schedule in an effort to gain a competitive edge for the football team, Director of Athletics Gene Smith announced Tuesday.

'These moves reflect our intent to assist our fans whenever we have the opportunity to do so,' says Smith. 'We sit down to see how we can improve the schedule each year, either to assist the fans or to give a competitive advantage to our football team. Some years we are able to make moves while others we cannot. This year, we were able to accommodate two moves that accomplish both.'

The first change involves moving the season opener with UTEP from Saturday, September 4 to Thursday, September 2. This move allows the football team to begin its preseason workouts at Camp Tontozona earlier, decreases the number of days the team will have to practice at night in Tempe once returning to the Valley, and allows ASU fans and students to attend the game Thursday night and then have the entire Labor Day Weekend to enjoy. The move also increases ASU's opportunity for television for the UTEP game that would not be available on Saturday, September 4.

The second change moves the Pacific-10 Conference game with Oregon State University from Saturday, October 9 to Saturday, September 25. This allows ASU to open Pac-10 play at home instead of on the road (at Oregon, Oct. 11). It also provides an open date on October 9 prior to the October 16 date at USC, giving the Sun Devils two weeks to prepare for and recover for the game. The move also vastly increases the chances of the ASU/Oregon State football game being televised by a Pac-10 television national/regional.

By completing these changes, ASU will now have three open Saturdays during the 2004 season. Last year, ASU played 11 straight games without an open Saturday to rest and heal injuries. The Sun Devils will play five games to open the season, enjoy an open date on October 9, play five more games and then enjoy the open date prior to the annual ASU/UA game.

For the fans, ASU has already set the first three home game times at 7 p.m. MST/PDT (UTEP, Iowa and Oregon State), thus avoiding the daytime heat of September. Also, ASU's next home game after Oregon State on September 25 is almost one month later, UCLA's visit on October 23. The weather will be more comfortable by then should the game be selected for national or regional television during the afternoon.

To review:

The UTEP Move ...

* Provides ASU its first open Saturday on Sept. 4, 2004
* Allows fans to enjoy the Labor Day weekend and still attend the Sun Devil football game on Thursday night.
* Allows the team to open preseason workouts at Camp Tontozona earlier.
* Decreases the number of night practices for the team once it returns to the Valley from Camp Tontozona.
* Increases the chances for television.

The Oregon State Move ...

* Allows ASU to open the Pac-10 portion of the 2004 slate at home.
* Increases the chances for national or regional television of the game.
* Provides an open date on Saturday, October 9, giving the Sun Devils two weeks to prepare and recover for the USC game.

2004 ASU Football Schedule

Sept. 2 -- UTEP (Thursday) (City of Tempe Night)

Sept. 4 -- Open date

Sept. 11 -- at Northwestern

Sept. 18 -- Iowa

Sept. 25 -- Oregon State (Faculty/Staff Appreciation Day)

Oct. 2 -- at Oregon

Oct. 9 -- Open date

Oct. 16 -- at USC

Oct. 23 - UCLA (Parents Weekend/Hall of Fame Game)

Oct. 30 -- at California

Nov. 6 - Stanford (Homecoming)

Nov. 13 -- Washington State (Senior Day)

Nov. 20 -- Open date

Nov. 26 -- at Arizona

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