Countdown to kickoff: Sun Devils ready for first football game of the season

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By Natalie Flanzer By Natalie Flanzer

TEMPE, Ariz. -- With just hours to go until kickoff, final preparations are under way for the first Sun Devils football game of the season.

Clad in their new uniforms and helmets, the Arizona State University Sun Devils will face off against U.C. Davis at 7 p.m.

Not only is this the 99th season of ASU football, it's the inaugural season of the Pac-12 Conference.
Click here for ASU's game schedule

ASU was part of the Pac-10 for 32 years, winning conference titles in 1986, 1996 and 2007.

ASU and UC Davis have only played each other once, more than 70 years ago. That was on Sept. 21,1940. The then-Bulldogs of Arizona State won that game 21-13. ASU would not become the Sun Devils until 1946.

When it comes to season openers, our Sun Devils are 69-27-2. ASU, which has won its last eight openers, is expected to handle US Davis handily, but anything can happen on the field.

"Probably a lot of you don’t know about Cal Davis, but they’ve had some pretty darn good quarterbacks," said Head Coach Dennis Erickson at a news conference earlier in the week. "But they are similar to us in a lot of ways as far as what they do offensively and defensively.”

In his time at ASU, Erickson is 4-0 in season openers.

For those of you attending Thursday night's Sun Devils football game, be sure to drink plenty of water and watch your alcohol consumption because it's going to be quite hot during peak tailgating time. By the time the game kicks off at 7 p.m., it will still be about 105 degrees. While the temperatures will drop throughout the night, it will still be between 95 and 100 degrees for the second half of the game.

The Tempe Fire Department recommends you drink one 16.9-ounce bottle of water per hour of tailgating and throughout the game. They also want you to remember that alcohol will dehydrate you.

In addition, they suggest you wear light-colored clothing and a hat.

Final preparations are under way for the big game. Cones and barriers are already set up in the parking lots and leading to the entry gates of Sun Devil Stadium..

There are some things that fans who park in the reserved North Lot and Reserved Lot 3 need to know before heading out to the game. Parking in those lots will be done in a "festival" manner, which means you can go to the next available space. You may also go to your space, but be aware that it might be taken and no cars will be moved.

Should the lots fill up because of students parking there, it is a regular ASU business day so the lots are open to students, you pass will be good at other nearby lots, including Lot 3, Lot 4, South Packard Drive structure, as well as overflow in to the RV lots, if needed.

Sun Devil Football - Game schedule
Thusday, Sept. 1 -- UC Davis
Friday, Sept. 9 -- Missouri
Saturday, Sept. 17 -- at Illinois
Saturday, Sept. 24 -- USC (Champion's Weekend)
Saturday, Oct. 1 -- Oregon State (Family Weekend/Hall of Fame Weekend)
Saturday, Oct. 8 -- at Utah
Saturday, Oct. 15 -- at Oregon
Saturday, Oct. 29, Colorado
Saturday, Nov. 5 -- at UCLA
Saturday, Nov. 12 -- at Washington State
Saturday, Nov. 19 -- Arizona (Ring of Honor Game)
Friday, Nov. 25 -- California (Senior Night)
Friday, Dec. 2 -- Pac-12 Championship Game, teams TBD