The Arizona Wildcats (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) stunned the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5, 5-3) with a 56-35 upset win in Tucson last season. On Saturday, the Devils will be out for payback.
The Wildcats will be looking for their 50th all-time victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils. But ASU will be looking to win its third straight game against Arizona in Tempe.
Who will claim the Territorial Cup in the 91st football meeting between the two schools? Here are a pair of predictions from ASU alum Jason Snavely and UA alum Shane Dale.
ABC15 sports anchor Jason Snavely
As we’ve seen in years past, records and even well-researched statistics hold little weight in this rivalry game. With that in mind, my prediction for this year’s Territorial Cup will not include a single stat or mention of who sits where in the standings. I'm simply going with the eyes and gut on this one.
What I’ve seen this year is an ASU defense that has been embarrassed by teams with star players. That's happened with Stanford, UCLA, USC and even San Diego State. The Sun Devils have a really hard time containing elite playmakers. The Wildcats have an elite playmaker. We've seen Khalil Tate make quality PAC-12 opponents look foolish and we’ve seen what he’s done to put himself into the Heisman conversation.
As a former Sun Devil, it’s difficult not to go with my alma mater in the big rivalry game (especially considering how well they’ve played at home this season), but when it comes to Khalil Tate vs. this ASU defense -- my gut tells me the sophomore superstar runs away with it. For the record, I hope I’m wrong.
Arizona 42, ASU 38
ABC15.com sportswriter Shane Dale
It seems we've reached peak Bizarro World (fitting for the unpredictable Territorial Cup rivalry), because the ASU alum is taking the Wildcats, and this UA alum is picking the Sun Devils.
I think ASU will reclaim the Territorial Cup on Saturday, for these reasons:
1. The home team has won each of the last four meetings. 2. The Sun Devils have a chip on their shoulder after last season’s embarrassment. 3. The Wildcats are banged up, especially on defense. 4. ASU is running the ball extremely well. 5. Manny Wilkins doesn’t make many mistakes. 6. Arizona has no answer for N’Keal Harry. 7. Arizona’s punting game is a wreck, and the Devils are very good at blocking punts. 8. Most importantly: The Ducks have provided a blueprint for how to contain Khalil Tate.
ASU 48, Arizona 31