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Graham's 15 Best Wins No. 2: Late rally gives Graham first rivalry victory

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Our No. 2 best win gave Todd Graham his first Territorial Cup victory and locked up a bowl berth for Arizona State.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to our new summer series. A lot has happened over Todd Graham's first three seasons as Arizona State's head football coach. Over the next two weeks, we will be ranking 15 of Graham's 28 total wins so far before the 2015 season, which has potential to send the program to new heights.

Today we have No. 2 in our countdown, as we remember when the Sun Devils went into Tucson and came out with Graham's first ever Territorial Cup win.

No. 2: November 23, 2012 - ASU vs. Arizona: Sun Devils Reclaim Cup with Thrilling 41-34 Win

For the entirety of Todd Graham's first season at Arizona State, people around the university and football program made it clear that beating rival Arizona should be at the top of his to-do list. And thanks to a stunning fourth quarter turnaround in his first game against the Wildcats, Graham did just that.

Both teams came into the late November showdown on different trajectories, to say the least. Arizona was ranked No. 24 and was winners of four of its last five, the lone loss coming on the road against a Top-25 UCLA team.

On the other end were the Sun Devils, who were stumbling after a dream-like start to Graham's career in the desert. A win against Washington State six days before the Territorial Cup was their first victory since all the way back on October 11, and they were hoping to ride the momentum into a Friday night meeting with the Wildcats in Tucson.

It would be the home team that struck first in the 87th playing of the Territorial Cup, with Arizona using a short touchdown run from Ka'Deem Carey to draw first blood. The maroon and gold would strike back with vengeance, however, rolling off the game's next 14 points on a pair of Marion Grice touchdown romps.

From then on, it was a game of runs. The Wildcats seemed to take all the air out of ASU's sails with an 18-0 binge in the middle of the third quarter, but an undeterred Sun Devil squad decided it was time to rally in one of the most spirited final 15 minutes in program history.

A 39-yard field goal off the foot of Jon Mora cut Arizona State's deficit to 27-20 with 11 minutes remaining, and a quick touchdown drive after a defensive stand tied the game up with a little over seven minutes to play.

It took a special play from the maroon and gold's special teams unit to really swing things around at the end of Arizona's next offensive possession. After a quick three and out, speedy safety Kevin Ayers broke into the Wildcat backfield and blocked a poor punt attempt, setting up his offense just eight yards from the goal line and the lead.

The offense did its job, and would take care of business once more after an interception by Robert Nelson. When the dust finally settled, the Sun Devils emerged from a frenzied five minute stretch with a 41-27 advantage.

Arizona did score one final touchdown with 1:54 left in the game, but it proved to be elementary as the ensuing onside kick landed out of bounds. Just like that, Arizona State had stolen a win from the Wildcats, locking up a bowl berth and giving Graham his first taste of Territorial Cup success in the process.

WHAT IT DID FOR ASU: Besides bringing the Cup back to Tempe, the win moved the team's record to 7-5 and earned them an invitation to the Kraft Fight Hunger bowl shortly thereafter. An intriguing matchup with Navy awaited them in San Francisco, but the Midshipmen were no match for a Sun Devil team that had over a month to prepare. Taylor Kelly threw for four touchdowns and both Grice and Cameron Marshall rushed for two more in the 62-28 victory.