This should be the biggest Territorial Cup showdown in the history of both programs. Both Arizona State and Arizona are ranked in the top 15. They both could still win the Pac-12 South.
Instead, they both have to do scoreboard watching to see if the entire game means no more than just another win over its rival.
What am I talking about? It's the Territorial Cup! These two teams could be 0-22 entering the game, and blood would be had.
Here's the big matchup in this one:
Taylor Kelly vs. Anu Solomon
The two signal callers have had eerily similar seasons. Both have been banged up with foot injuries. Solomon is still technically a question mark after leaving the Utah game at halftime, when an ankle injury flared up.
We all know by now about Taylor Kelly's foot injury.
But the two are identical quarterbacks. Neither has the wow factor NFL scouts look for. But they both make plays, using both their feet and arm, and neither turn the ball over.
This is particularly impressive for Solomon, a freshman running a complicated Rich Rodriguez offense.
Let's look at the stats:
Kelly: 1,730 yards, 18td, 5int, 57.7 completion pct.
Solomon: 3,216 yards, 25td, 7int, 57.6 completion pct.
Mind you, Kelly missed three entire games. Even on the ground, the two are twins. They both average 29.9 yards per game. Both have broken off long runs. They've been sacked at a nearly identical rate per game.
All of this might point to the matchup of the week really being amongst the other 21 starters on each team. But one of these quarterbacks is going to pick his team up when it matters most.
I've watched two Arizona games to get a gauge on Solomon, but I literally can't find a difference between the Wildcats quarterback and ASU's senior captain.
If you traded the two at the beginning of the season, Kelly's missed time for injury aside, I'm not sure either school's records are different. They're that similar.
Of course, I'll take Kelly's experience over the freshman all day. I think that could be key in this one. Kelly will know when not to run, when to accept a broken play and not turn it into a game changer for his rival.
Kelly has been here before. He has played Arizona. He has played games that matter late in the season.
Solomon has not. Could that be to his advantage? Possibly. Solomon could always come out, guns blazing like he just doesn't care about how big the moment is, and play backyard football. But Todd Graham's defense is too aggressive for that.
So there it is. I'll be watching the composure of both quarterbacks. I want to see how comfortable they both look running the zone read. Are they healthy? Do they look tentative? Is the last regular season game of Taylor Kelly's Sun Devil career too big for him? Is Anu Solomon's first rivalry game going to spook him?
Those are the questions to be asked. All I know is this game will come down to the quarterbacks. One of them has to differentiate themselves from the other. Whoever comes out on top in this battle, will lead his team to victory.