ASU students, Sparky protect the A as U of A game draws near

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TEMPE, Ariz. -- Last year, Arizona State University students were caught off guard and U of A pranksters painted their beloved A Wildcat red -- in broad daylight.

They  weren't about to let that happen again. With the help of Sparky, students have been on A Mountain around the clock, guarding the A.

Teams of students have been protecting the A 24/7, even sleeping on the mountain, since Sunday.

They said several attempts have been made to attack the A, but they have managed to thwart each one.

"The secret is just being alert, ready to protect against anything, expecting the unexpected, being ready for U of A to jump out of a helicopter to attack our A," said Tyler Fowler.

"Last year they got away with it," said Dan Turbysill, the alumni of the Student Alumni Association. "As soon as we left, they got it in broad daylight. We woke up to the A being Wildcat red, and it ended up on the Internet all over the country. We got so many calls from angry alumni that we allowed that to happen."

Not this year!

With hours to go until kickoff, Bruce Haffner headed to A Mountain to talk to the students who are making sure their A stays Sun Devil gold.

The Duel in the Desert will be played Thursday night at Arizona Stadium in Tucson. Some 60,000 fans are expected for the game.