With the oldest rivalry set for another round at Sun Devil Stadium, the Sun Devils and Wildcats had more than a little pride on the line. Arizona and Arizona State are not headed to any conference title game, College Football Playoff, or even a huge bowl game. Division order, bowl preference, and that little thing called pride were on the line in Tempe.
With rivalry games you expect the unexpected. You throw the records out and just play football.
Arizona and Arizona State gave the sold out crowd a bit of everything to root for on Saturday night.
Arizona State came out a little flat and couldn’t muster any type of momentum or rhythm. The Sun Devils had to punt on the first two possessions.
The punts were horrific. Just bad.
Meanwhile, the Wildcats took advantage of the great field position. Arizona drove the ball down to the Sun Devil one yard line. Zach Green took the ball in for the score and just like that it was 7-0 Arizona.
After another short series for the Sun Devils and another terrible punt the Wildcats punched in another touchdown with Khalil Tate. In a blink of an eye, it was 14-0 and the Sun Devil faithful were a bit shell shocked.
Sun Devils had to answer. Had to.
Arizona State came up with a nine play, 87 yard drive that was set up by a 48 yard pass by Manny Wilkins. The Sun Devils got on the board with a 18 yard pass to Kyle Williams.
14-7 Arizona at that point.
The second quarter was where the scoring opened up for the Wildcats and the Sun Devils.
The Wildcats get a field goal, extend the lead to 17-7.
What was Arizona State’s response?
The Sun Devils get a nine play, 75 yard drive that ended with Kalen Ballage taking the ball in from one yard out and just like that it’s a 17-14 lead for Arizona.
Arizona takes their next possession and score quickly. J.J Taylor runs the ball in from 15 yards for the score and the Wildcats take back the momentum heading into halftime.
Halftime score was 24-14 Arizona.
Adjustments are made at halftime.
The Sun Devils made adjustments and then some in the second half of play. Arizona State scored touchdowns on three possessions in the third quarter. The Sun Devils went from 10 points down to 11 points up at the end of third quarter. It was an amazing turnaround for Arizona State.
The switch in fortunes on the field for the Sun Devils was helped along by Arizona losing their all everything quarterback Khalil Tate to an apparent shoulder injury. The Wildcats were never the same after losing Tate.
The blocking up front was gone, any rhythm was non-existent, and the body language the Wildcats were showing was one of defeat. Anybody that pays attention to football knows that when you lose your leader, it’s hard to regain any momentum when the starting quarterback goes down. It was to hard for Arizona on this night.
Arizona just about made it a little interesting with a run back off a kick that went to the end zone, but it was called back due to an illegal block in the back. That effectively killed all the momentum for Arizona.
After that, N’Keal Harry, Sun Devil receiver, scored on a pass from Manny Wilkins and the Sun Devils put the final distance on the scoreboard.
The Sun Devils took a victory lap with the Territorial Cup after the 42-30 win.
Now, the Sun Devils just wait to find out where they will play their bowl game. It was a great night for Arizona State and they get to rule the state of Arizona for the next 365 days.
The Devils showed no pity for the kitty on this night.