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ASU vs. Arizona: By the Numbers Preview

Here, we take a look at how this year's Territorial Cup matchup stacks up according to the numbers.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats enter this year's Territorial Cup contest with a 6-5 record (3-5 in Pac-12 play).

It's been a season marred by injuries and unimpressive showings, but an upset win over then-No. 10 Utah provides the Wildcats with some momentum ahead of their in-state battle with the Arizona State Sun Devils.

Below, we take a look at this year's installment of the rivalry by the numbers.


The Wildcats enter this year's contest with a turnover margin of -4, which ranks last in the Pac-12.


This is Arizona State's Defensive Methodical Drive Rate (DMe), or percentage of opponent drives that last at least 10 plays, according to Football Outsiders' database. This is the seventh-best unit at getting off the field in the entire country in this regard.

Of course, this number can also be influenced by ASU's tendency to give up big plays to opponents. However, it's encouraging when considering Arizona's Offensive Methodical Drive Rate is only .148 (47th in the country) and their Offensive Explosive Drive Rate (percentage of drives that earn at least 10 yards per play) is .157 (42nd in the country).


This is the Wildcats Offensive First Down Rate (OFD—percentage of offensive drives that results in at least one first down or touchdown), which is good for 23rd in the nation.

In contrast, the Sun Devils boast the 31st-best defensive unit in this statistic, only allowing .667 of opponent drives to result in a first down or touchdown, and have the second-best defense in the Pac-12 in relinquishing first downs (19.5 per game).


Arizona's offensive line ranks 17th in the nation in Passing Down Line Yards.

The battle in the trenches could end up playing a key role, particularly in the passing game, as Arizona also ranks 18th in Passing Down Sack Rate (4.5%).


Arizona ranks fourth in the conference in scoring offense, posting 36.7 points per game.


Arizona State's defensive line ranks 11th in the nation in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Line Yards calculations, posting a 120.9 grade (100 is average; above 100 is good, below 100 is bad).


The number of total touches D.J. Foster has averaged against the Wildcats through three meetings, including 110.3 total yards per game.

Foster enters this year's matchup only averaging 9.2 touches and 74.3 total yards per game through 10 appearances in his senior season.


The amount of passes Taylor Kelly (13-of-22, 144 yd, 2 TD) threw before being lifted in favor of Mike Bercovici (14-of-22, 123 yd, 2 TD, INT) during last year's matchup between the two schools.

Will Sun Devils fans find themselves calling for another quarterback switch during this year's contest?


This is the ASU defensive line's Stuff Rate (or, tackles for loss rate) according to Football Outsiders' database. It's good for 18th in the entire country.


Sun Devil linebackers Salamo Fiso (16) and Antonio Longino (15) currently lead the conference in tackles for loss, at first and second, respectively.


The number of Arizona's All-American linebacker Scooby Wright III, who has been ruled out for this year's contest. He logged 13 tackles (five for loss), two sacks and a forced fumble against the Sun Devils last year.


The Sun Devils lead the conference in sacks with 36 on the year.


The Wildcats are allowing opposing offenses to convert over 45 percent of their third downs.


The two teams have combined to average nearly 70 points in their last five contests, beginning with a 30-29 win for ASU in 2010.


Senior backup quarterback Jerrard Randall has attempted only 82 passes this season and 85 in his entire career.

If starter Anu Solomon is unable to play because of a lingering concussion, Randall—who's thrown for 483 yards, five touchdowns and three interceptions, as well as 680 rushing yards and five rushing scores in 2015—will get the nod under center (or in Arizona's case, in the shotgun).


This year marks the 89th game between the two schools, who first faced off in 1899 (ASU won, 11-2).

Arizona leads the all-time series, 48-39-1.

However, since the state of Arizona's Board of Regents took control of ASU in 1945 and the game became an annual matchup starting in 1946, ASU leads, 37-31-1.


Arizona's defense is allowing opposing offenses to convert on 93.9 percent of their red zone chances.


Wildcats running back Nick Wilson rushed for 178 yards and three touchdowns against ASU last season (averaged 7.4 per carry).


Arizona enters averaging over 200 rushing yards per game in wins against conference foes. The Wildcats backfield is not only talented, but also two players deep.

ASU enters only allowing 124.6 rushing yards per game, and boasts the second-best rush defense in the Pac-12.