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Star-Bulletin Sports

Tuesday, December 19, 2000

A L O H A _ B O W L

Aloha Bowl

ASU will get
chance at redemption
in Aloha Bowl

Bowling in Hawaii
over the holidays

By Paul Arnett

Arizona State has a little unfinished business to tend to before sending head coach Bruce Snyder off into a Waikiki sunset.

Anyone who attended last year's Aloha Bowl -- and no, it's not true the crowd fit comfortably in an airport shuttle bus -- between the Sun Devils and Demon Deacons of Wake Forest, didn't see a true Snyder team.

The ASU head coach, who already has been replaced by Boise State's Dirk Koetter, would like to improve on last year's 23-3 defeat to Wake Forest in Monday's Aloha Bowl with Boston College.


Bullet When: Monday, Dec. 25, 10:30 a.m.
Bullet Who: Arizona State (6-5) vs Boston College (6-5)
Bullet Where: Aloha Stadium
Bullet TV: ABC live (pending sellout)


Bullet Tickets: Two-game packages, $35-$50. Single games available.
Bullet Information: 947-4141
Bullet Web site:

Snyder believes he learned a few things from last year's embarrassing loss. For one, you don't want to come out of the tunnel to see 48,000 people disguised as empty Aloha Stadium seats.

"It was one of several factors that hurt us that day," Snyder said. "It felt like a scrimmage out there. We kind of played liked we wanted to just get it over with. I think you're going to see a much more emotional team this year that hopefully will get it right."

You're also going to see a different approach this week by Snyder, who loved last year's hospitality, just not the end result. The small crowd wasn't the only thing that proved a distraction.

"One of the major problems we had a year ago was some kind of a food sickness," Snyder said. "At least a third of my team and half of my staff had some kind of illness the day of the game.

"Can we avoid that this year? I hope so.

"We have to watch what we eat, especially a couple of days before the game."

Improved practice facilities is another positive for Snyder. His team is working out at St. Louis School this week. The Crusaders' new practice field quickly caught Snyder's eye.

"It's definitely going to be a better facility for us," Snyder said.

"I think the fact that these kids have been here, a lot of them, will allow them to focus more on the game.

"We didn't have any identification with Wake Forest. It was hard preparing for them because we didn't know that much about them.

"That's not the case with Boston College, which has been good in recent years. All of those things together made it hard for us last year."

Arizona State got a shot at redemption by knocking off the Arizona Wildcats, 30-17, to become bowl-eligible at 6-5. Because the Sun Devils played here in 1999, some early talk centered on them facing Nevada-Las Vegas in the Las Vegas Bowl or Wisconsin in the Sun Bowl.

"But we're glad to be here for several reasons," Snyder said. "It's hard to beat the exposure you get on Christmas Day. You can't beat coming to Hawaii because it's so beautiful.

"And it also gives us a second chance to show people here what Arizona State football is all about."

This is the first time ASU has played Boston College. It's the 19th bowl appearance overall for the Sun Devils, who are second in the Pac-10 to Southern California with a postseason mark of 10-7.

The Sun Devils are 4-1 in games with Big East opponents. The most recent encounter was a 23-12 win at Miami of Florida in 1997.

"Boston College is a very well-coached and physical football team," Snyder said. "They're what you would expect from that part of the country.

"We're going to have to be at our best to beat them Christmas Day."


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