Anytime Arizona State and Arizona get together for the Territorial Cup, it's almost impossible to predict the final outcome. Even with the tradition of uncertainty in this rivalry, we gave our staff its best shot at seeing who would earn state bragging rights.
Kerry Crowley: Arizona State 34, Arizona 30
If there's one thing we know about the Territorial Cup, it's that we know nothing. Year after year, this rivalry continues to surprise us and make us realize that records mean nothing when these teams play. This year, the Sun Devils have a clear advantage in talent and an upper hand in motivation. With the knowledge that they can host the Pac-12 Championship game with a win, there's no reason that the Sun Devils should lose focus and allow the Wildcats to creep into this game.
Arizona State is 6-0 at home and looked like a top ten team against UCLA for most of last week's contest. Arizona, on the other hand, is two weeks removed from losing to Washington State at home. But the college football gods continue to amaze us, as evidenced by the Wildcats' 26-point victory against Oregon. Though it's impossible to fathom a repeat performance by Arizona this week, the Wildcats will treat this game as their Super Bowl and play their hearts out. That's why this game will be close. Still, Arizona State has bigger and better aspirations, and I think the Sun Devils will focus up in the fourth quarter and pull out a victory they need.
Bold Prediction: Arizona State needs a fourth quarter comeback to secure the victory.
Nick Krueger: Arizona State 31, Arizona 20
If Arizona would have lost to Oregon, I would have picked the Wildcats to win this week against the Sun Devils. However, it's so tough to get the motivation up two weeks in a row especially against two of the most high-powered offenses in the country in back-to-back weeks. I also would have picked Arizona had the game been in Tucson this weekend but that's not the case either. The only option left is to pick the Sun Devils in what has become the perfect storm at home for ASU in front of a sold out crowd tonight.
Rivalry games tend to be close but in some cases, there are years where one team is just clearly better than the other. ASU is just a better team this season. Stop Ka'Deem Carey and in my opinion you can stop everything Arizona tries to do on offense. The Sun Devils have already stopped Bishop Sankey in his tracks at Sun Devil Stadium this season and hopefully stopping Carey should be no different. Deantre Lewis and D.J. Foster have proven their worth in the backfield over the past two seasons and are more than capable replacements but may stifle the Sun Devil offense just a little bit. This rivalry splits families, friendships, and even pits former high school teammates against each other. One thing for sure is that tonight will be a special one in Tempe. ASU will get out to a roaring start and hold off the Wildcats' late surge to win and host the Pac-12 Championship on Dec. 7th. against Stanford.
Bold prediction: Jaelen Strong catches every ASU touchdown pass.
Mauricio Casillas: Arizona State 41, Arizona 24
The Territorial Cup, like any other rivalry game, is unpredictable. However, I feel fairly confident in saying that the Sun Devils will win this game. This team has proven time and time again that it Is for real. Over the past couple of seasons, the Sun Devils have always struggled to close out the year, but this team has actually done it.
I think it will be ridiculously difficult for Arizona State to make it to the Rose Bowl if they have to go on the road for the Pac-12 Championship game. Tempe brings out the best in the Sun Devils and that will show in the Territorial Cup. The veteran defense is ready for Ka'Deem Carey. The Sun Devils wants to force BJ Denker to throw against them because they know they have the secondary to stop him. The only way I see Arizona winning this one is if Arizona State beats themselves. It should be a great game for three quarters, but the Sun Devils will get the job done in the fourth.
Ben Haber: Arizona State 45, Arizona 21
They say it will be close. They say it will be intense. They say it will be up for grabs in the final minutes. They are going to be wrong. The Arizona State and Arizona rivalry somehow flies under the radar. The game won't garner additional notoriety in this go-around because ESPN surprisingly didn't pick it up. There are few teams that can get in the way of the magical Sun Devil season, and the Wildcats aren't one of them.
The level of motivation for both teams isn't comparable, let alone the talent. Arizona State prevails motivation and talent wise. Ka'Deem Carey is the sole potential problem for Todd Graham. I doubt he has enough of a supporting cast to pull off the upset. I believe the Wildcats are closer to the team that lost to Washington State than the team that beat Oregon. How could anyone choose the unpredictability of University of Arizona over the solid Arizona State production? Taylor Kelly and the offense are on cruise control at home and routinely post 40-plus points on Frank Kush Field.
The Sun Devils and Wildcats are rising the collegiate ranks at the same time. What's the difference? Arizona State is climbing at an accelerated rate and University of Arizona will experience it first-hand.
Bold Prediction: DJ Foster posts 150-plus yards and at least 1 touchdown.