After a year of residence in Tucson, the Territorial Cup is moving back to Tempe. The Sun Devils jumped out to 31-10 halftime lead and made enough plays in the second half to top the Arizona Wildcats 52-37.
It was senior quarterback Mike Bercovici and senior wide receiver Devin Lucien who propelled the Sun Devils to their third victory over Arizona in the last four years. Lucien caught nine passes for 190 yards and a touchdown. It is the most receiving yards for an ASU wideout since Jaelen Strong against USC in 2014.
An emotional Mike Bercovici delivered one of his best performances of the season in his final game at Sun Devil Stadium. The ASU signal caller went 21-of-32 yards, for 315 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. He also added a touchdown run in the first half.
Both offenses started slow and after Arizona's third punt of the first quarter, the Sun Devils got on the board first courtesy of a nine-yard touchdown run by sophomore Demario Richard. The score was set up by a 58-yard reception by Devin Lucien to put ASU inside the Wildcat 10-yard line.
The Sun Devils extended their lead on their next possession when Bercovici found a wide open Devin Lucien for a 59-yard touchdown. ASU extended their lead to 14-0 on just six plays, with each scoring drive taking less than two minutes.
Following a disastrous first quarter in which the Wildcats punted the ball five times and went three-and-out three times, Rich Rodriguez made change at quarterback, electing to play third string, redshirt freshman Brandon Dawkins.
The Wildcats responded with their best drive of the day in which Dawkins converted a third down with a 26-yard run and found Johnny Jackson for 28 yards to put Arizona in the ASU red zone. However, the drive stalled and the Wildcats kicked a field goal to make the score 21-10 with 5:47 left in the first half.
Once again the Sun Devils answered a Wildcat scoring drive with one of their own as Bercovici found Jalen Harvey for a 41-yard touchdown on ASU's next drive. It was Harvey's first career catch and it gave ASU a 28-10 lead with 4:00 left in the half.
After Arizona went three-and-out, it looked as if ASU was content to run the clock out and take an 18-point lead into halftime. However, with just over two minutes left, Kalen Ballage took a handoff up the far sideline 65 yards to the Arizona 10. The Sun Devils settled for a field goal to take 31-10 lead into halftime.
Arizona State fumbled on its first possession of the third quarter and the Wilcats turned it into a 37-yard field goal by Skowron to pull Arizona within 31-13. Arizona added another field goal late in the third to pull within two scores, 31-16 with 3:35 left in the third quarter.
The Wildcats pulled within eight with less than a minute to play in the third quarter when wide receiver Trey Griffey dipped and dodged his way through the ASU secondary for a 95-yard touchdown reception.
The Sun Devil offense struggled in the third quarter, as they punted on their next three drives following their fumble to begin the quarter and saw their 21-point halftime lead dwindle to just eight at the end of the third.
However, ASU started the fourth quarter with a 10-play, 74 yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a one-yard run by D.J. Foster to put the Sun Devils up 38-23. The Wildcats responded with their second touchdown drive of the half and pulled back within eight when Dawkins found Jackson for a 17-yard touchdown with 6:50 left in the game.
The Sun Devils were able to pick up a first down and chew some clock, however they punted the ball back to Arizona with four minutes left, leading 38-30.
On a day where the Sun Devil Seniors on offense excelled, it was a freshman on defense that made the play of the day for ASU. With Arizona facing a third-and-six, Kareem Orr intercepted a pass over the middle and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to put ASU up 45-30 with 3:33 left in the game.
On Arizona's next drive, senior Llyod Carrington picked off Dawkins down the far sideline and returned it 38 yards to cap an excellent performance from the Sun Devils. Arizona added a late touchdown, but it was too little too late as the Sun Devils took back the Cup and topped the Wildcats 52-37.