The last time the Arizona State Sun Devils lost a football game at home, Mitt Romney was still in contention for the Presidency. The No. 1 song in the country was "One More Night" by Maroon 5. The average price of a gallon of gasoline was $3.48. Miley Cyrus was still considered normal.
403 days. That is the length of time it has been since Arizona State lost a game inside Sun Devil Stadium. It came against Pac-12 South rival UCLA, by two points. Since then, the Sun Devils have been perfect at home, winning all eight games they have played by an average of 29.6 points.
In two seasons as head coach of the Sun Devils, Todd Graham is 11-2 at home. Graham has always stressed the importance of home field advantage, consistently tweeting and telling fans the team needs them to show up and be loud every home game.
However, how important is playing at home for the Sun Devils? Let's find out.
This season, the Sun Devils average 49.1 points per game at home as opposed to 35 PPG on the road. The defense also gives up an average of ten less points at home than on the road. Arizona State has scored at least 50 points in five of their seven home games this season.
In terms of total offense, the Sun Devils average 485 yards of offense at home compared to 428 yards of offense on the road.
Perhaps the most telling stat of how good Arizona State has been at home this season comes in turnovers. The Sun Devils have forced 23 turnovers in seven homes games this season. The defense has forced seven turnovers in five road games. The Arizona State offense has turned the ball over just eight times at home and nine times on the road.
Arizona State junior quarterback Taylor Kelly has been very good at home in his two seasons as a starter. In 13 career starts at home, Kelly has thrown for 32 touchdowns and nine interceptions. Kelly is averaging 8.22 yards per attempt at home and 7.19 on the road.
The Eagle, Idaho, native has been sacked 31 times this season, however just 11 of those have come in Arizona State's seven home games. That means the Arizona State offensive line is allowing four sacks a game on the road and less than two at home.
The Sun Devils average 212.1 yards per game on the ground and have scored 25 rushing touchdowns at home. Compare that to 153.8 rushing yards per game averaged on the road and just eight rushing touchdowns on the road.
The Sun Devils have twice as many rushing yards at home than they do on the road despite playing just two more games at home than on the road.
Stanford on the road
Like Arizona State, the Stanford Cardinal have played five road games and seven home games on the season. On the road, the Cardinal is averaging 29.4 PPG. In their last three road games in which the team is 1-2, the Cardinal are averaging 19.3 PPG.
Stanford played four ranked teams at home, beating all four of them. They only played ranked team on the road all season, beating Oregon State by eight points in Corvallis.
Kevin Hogan's quarterback rating drops eight points on the road and his completion percentage drops by about eight-percent away from home.
However, the most striking home vs. away stat for Stanford is red zone efficiency. At home, Stanford has the best red zone efficiency in the nation, on the road they are ranked 109th in the nation
Stanford drops from #1 in the nation (sole possession) to #109 in nation in red zone efficiency when moving from home to road. (!!!!)— David Lombardi (@DavidMLombardi) December 3, 2013
Not surprisingly, Stanford also struggles much more to get touchdowns in the red zone on the road.
For Stanford, an alarming drop on the road: Red zone TD% at home: 65.5% (No. 52 in nation) Red zone TD% on road: 43.7% (No. 111 in nation)— David Lombardi (@DavidMLombardi) December 3, 2013
So what does this all mean? Well, even after losing by 14 points to Stanford in September and being four spots behind the Cardinal in the BCS Standings, the Sun Devils are favored by around three points.
The stadium will be sold out, the atmosphere will be one of the best in Sun Devil Stadium history, so expect the home field advantage to have some sort of effect on the game.