Though this game was not a repeat of 2010, it will go down in the record books as one of the greatest and most entertaining games in Territorial Cup history.
"As I went around and talked to our fans and our boosters and everybody. It is the game. It's the most important thing for us obviously in recruiting, for our former players, for our fans, everybody," head coach Todd Graham said. "It was big not only winning, but how we won."
After an 18-0 run that put the Sun Devils behind 27-17 to end the third quarter, the maroon and gold exploded for a 24-0 run of their own in route to a 41-34 victory. There were four chapters tonight, and ASU's nearly flawless second and fourth quarters dictated tonight's duel by outscoring the Wildcats 38-10.
Arizona State has now won three of its last four road games against rival Arizona and the win gives the Sun Devils a winning record at 7-5 on the season.
"For our last time playing U of A, and going out with these seniors and this is my last time playing with my teammates was a great feeling," safety Keelan Johnson said. Johnson finished with eight total tackles, one interception and a broken up pass attempt.
Coming into this season, fans had their doubts about this team being able to turn around the program in one year under the leadership of head coach Todd Graham. The ASU student body wanted a .500 record and their school not only beat that, but they did it against their cross-state rival.
A blocked punt by Kevin Ayers ignited the fire on the Sun Devil sidelines and moments later, running back Cameron Marshall put his team ahead by a touchdown with 5:34 left to play.
"Our special teams effort has been huge for us all season, and they came through for us tonight." senior Brandon Magee said. "I am just so proud of everyone on our team." Magee finished the night with a career-high 17 tackles and surpassed 100 on the season.
Just under three minutes later, Michael Eubank converted on a quarterback sneak that iced the game for ASU. The Wildcats went on to score one more touchdown with less than two minutes remaining, but they failed on their lone onside kick attempt.
ASU was expected to run the ball early and often and that is exactly what we saw on the battlefield. Arizona State rushed for a total of 269 yards and five touchdowns and Arizona bested them with 292 yards on the ground, but only one touchdown. The Wildcats' lone touchdown came seven minutes into the game thanks to the nation's leading rusher Ka'Deem Carey.
Marion Grice finished the night with 174 total yards and three touchdowns, averaging 8.7 yards per tote. The junior transfer opened many eyes in Tucson
"We were trying to establish the running game. Marion Grice did a great job," Taylor Kelly said.
Soak in this win Sun Devil Nation and get ready to watch ASU football play in December.
"This win is huge for our seniors and definitely huge for our program. It is huge to get that momentum going into a bowl game," Kelly said.