"We're not destined for a 6-6 bowl game. We're not destined for a 7-5 bowl game. We know this team can do bigger things." - Brock Osweiler at ASU's 2011 media day
As any ASU fan will tell you, the Sun Devils finished the 2011 season 6-7. But just months prior, the buzz around the city of Tempe was palpable. With the addition of Colorado and Utah to the conference, the creation of a Pac-12 Championship Game and USC being ineligible to play in the postseason, confidence in ASU's chances of having a big season were quite high.
ASU planned ahead and created the first-ever blackout game, asking all the fans in attendance to wear black and support the all-black Sun Devils team as they faced a fierce Big 12 foe.
At the ASU media day just weeks prior, we talked to some of the Devils about the blackout and got some colorful responses.
Brandon Magee was forthcoming about his thoughts.
Magee agreed that he was excited about the game, adding "oh, man, you guys should be excited too! I call it a Black Out Knockout because somebody's going to get knocked out that game. Get ready for the Youtube's - somebody's going to get knocked out."
Running back Cameron Marshall flashed a big smile when I asked him about the Black Out. "Those black uniforms are real nice - I can't wait to put them on."
The players are confident and enthusiastic, and it's undeniable that the buzz surrounding the new black uniforms are giving them swagger when it comes to the much-anticipated battle with the Missouri Tigers.
That's exactly what everyone was hoping for.
To give you more perspective on the importance of the blackout at the time, Osweiler had this to say.
"It's not just the black uniforms, this football team is excited for the whole experience that is going to take place Friday night," Osweiler said. "Black uniforms, national television, ESPN, full stadium, great opponent and we're at home. There is a lot to be excited about Friday night and I can promise that this team is ready and we will be prepared."
Naturally, the Missouri Tigers proved to be a very stiff challenge, but the fans and team both responded. On a night where lightning slashed through the sky and rain fell on a sellout crowd of 70,000+, ASU overcame special teams and defensive issues to win their first game over a ranked opponent since 2007.
On that night, the Sun Devils arrived on the national scene; their signature win over Missouri allowed ASU, at least for one more week, to dream big.
Tomorrow, we'll reminisce about the thrilling overtime period that resulted in ASU's big win.