Sun Devils enter football season with high hopes

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TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- The Arizona State Sun Devils enter their second season under coach Dennis Erickson loaded with experience and expecting to challenge for the Pac-10 title.

The Sun Devils were 10-3 in Erickson's first season, and at 7-2 were tied with USC for first in the conference. But the Trojans earned the Rose Bowl berth by virtue of their 44-24 victory over the Sun Devils in Tempe.

Quarterback Rudy Carpenter enters his senior season on a string of 31 consecutive starts.

The team opens at home August 30th against Northern Arizona, but the schedule gets a lot tougher. The Sun Devils are the only team to play both Georgia and USC -- the top two teams in the pre-season coaches' poll.

Arizona State is home against Georgia on September 20th, then plays at California, at USC and home against Oregon.