KICKOFF: Saturday, 7:30 p.m. ET
SITE: AT&T Stadium, Arlington, Texas
SERIES: Notre Dame leads the series against Arizona State, 2-0. The teams played a home-and-home series in 1998 and 1999, with the Irish winning 28-9 in Tempe in the first game and then 48-17 in South Bend.
RANKINGS: Arizona State No. 22; Notre Dame unranked
KEYS TO THE GAME
Arizona State just made history by hanging 62 points on USC, the most ever against the Trojans, a walloping so severe that it was the final straw for 'SC athletic director Pat Haden, who fired coach Lane Kiffin.
Now, the Sun Devils want to make more history when they take on Notre Dame in Arlington, Texas.
"This is a national game for us, an opportunity for our players," coach Todd Graham said.
"I talked to them yesterday about making history. They can be the first team in college football history to beat USC and Notre Dame in back-to-back weeks. That has never happened. I would say that is pretty significant."
ASU (3-1 overall, 1-1 Pac-12) landed back in the AP poll this week, at No. 22, a week after falling out following its loss at Stanford. Notre Dame (3-2) is unranked after losing at home to Oklahoma.
"Our guys will be very motivated to play in this game," Graham said.
"It is a national game. Is it more important than the Pac-12 games? No, it is not. ... But it is very important to our fan base, very important to our football program."
Arizona State is trying to make some kind of a statement, introducing new helmets covered by flames. Graham said no two helmets will be identical, adding that he was "very involved" in the design process.
"If you want to be a champion, you have to look like a champion first," he said.
ASU looked Pac-12 South championship worthy against USC, overwhelming the Trojans with a 28-0 run in the third quarter to take control. The Trojans, meanwhile, looked unemotional, another reason why Kiffin was let go.
The Sun Devils are at the end of a four-game gauntlet, sitting at 2-1 vs. Wisconsin, Stanford (on the road) and USC. Through that stretch, preceded by a game vs. Sacramento State, Arizona State is averaging 44.3 points per game, the 11th-best mark in the nation.
A win over the Irish could be quite a boost as ASU heads into the rest its league schedule, with a potential South showdown at UCLA sitting late in the season on Nov. 23.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
--S Alden Darby was the Pac-12's Defensive Player of the Week after forcing three turnovers vs. USC. He forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter, and then picked off two passes in the third quarter, returning one for a touchdown. Darby, who has all-conference ability, is third on the team with 19 tackles and has a team-best five pass break-ups.
--RB Marion Grice is a touchdown machine, averaging a national-best 18.0 points per game -- which is six points more than the next-highest scoring player. Grice, who arrived last season from junior college, has great vision, emerging as ASU's clear No. 1 back, although he is averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. Get him within sniffing distance of the end zone, though, and he becomes unstoppable, with four of his scores coming via reception.
--DT Will Sutton, who came up with his first sack of the season vs. USC, has had a modest season statistically, but coaches still say his impact has been great. Sutton, a 2012 consensus All-American, will have an interesting competition of sorts this week at Notre Dame, as the Irish have a standout interior defensive lineman, too, in Louis Nix III.
--WR Jaelen Strong has been as good as advertised so far after transferring from junior college. Strong, who has an NFL body at 6-foot-4, has made 31 catches for 433 yards and two touchdowns, giving the Devils exactly what it needed on the outside to help balance the offense.