Instant Recap: ASU football brings the Territorial Cup home after beating UA

The Sun Devils defeat the Wildcats after a strong second half

Coming off of a dominant win in Corvallis, Oregon, ASU football returned home to capture the Territorial Cup from the UA Wildcats (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12). The Sun Devils (7-5, 6-3 Pac-12) erupted out of halftime with dominance on both sides of the ball, ultimately stomping the Wildcats 42-30. 

After receiving the opening kickoff, a lackluster trio of plays resulted in an ASU punt. The Wildcats responded with a methodical 10-play, 73-yard touchdown drive on the shoulders of sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate

However, it would be UA’s redshirt senior running back Zach Green who punched it in for the one-yard score.

Down seven, the Sun Devils mirrored their first drive with another three-and-out, and to make matters worse for ASU, the punt only traveled 37 yards. 

This time around, the Wildcats relied on their ground game to enter ASU territory, and Tate ran into the end zone untouched for a one-yard score. 

ASU trailed 14-0 with 4:38 left in the first quarter. 

On the ensuing drive, the Sun Devils capitalized on a 48-yard grab by redshirt freshman wide out Frank Darby by scoring a few plays later. 

Sophomore wide receiver Kyle Williams was the recipient of redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins’s 18-yard touchdown pass.

UA’s offense continued its hot start, moving down into the ASU red zone before settling for a 24-yard field goal. 

Aiming to establish a ground attack of their own, the Sun Devils rushed several times before Wilkins completed a trio of momentum-building passes. 

The developing success through the air allowed senior running back Kalen Ballage to score a one-yard touchdown up the gut. 

ASU trailed 14-17 with 5:45 left in the first half.

Unable to put an end to the Wildcats’ offensive pounding, the Sun Devils gave up a 42-yard completion to senior wide receiver Tyrell Johnson prior to a 15-yard touchdown run by redshirt freshman running back J.J. Taylor

ASU’s offense stalled once again and after a couple sacks, the Sun Devils were forced to punt for the third time.

Sitting pretty with a 10-point lead, UA’s offense mimicked ASU’s offense and was forced to punt. 

With less than two minutes left in the half, Wilkins fired a nice strike to sophomore wide receiver N’Keal Harry, but he’d throw an uncharacteristic interception on the next play. 

The Sun Devils trailed 14-24 at halftime. 

UA came out of the half with redshirt junior quarterback Brandon Dawkins at the helm. The change of quarterback assisted the defense in forcing a punt, which would be blocked by freshman wide receiver Curtis Hodges

Two plays later, senior running back Demario Richard carried it in for a one-yard score. 

The Sun Devils' turnaround continued as junior safety Demonte King intercepted Dawkins on third down. 

With remarkable field position for the second drive in a row, ASU scored a touchdown. This time it was Harry who hauled in a five-yard, goal-line fade from Wilkins.

The Sun Devils led 28-24 with 8:50 left in the third quarter. 

With Tate returning to the field, ASU’s defense didn’t flinch. The Sun Devils had multiple pass breakups and a near interception before UA finally punted. 

As the Wildcats sustained their collapse, Wilkins and company marched down the field, and Richard capped off the drive with a six-yard touchdown run. 

ASU led 35-24 with 2:18 left in the third quarter.

UA’s strange quarterback rotation had Dawkins back in for the Wildcats, but their lack of efficiency mixed with a punishing ASU defense left UA with no other option but to punt. 

However, an unexpected turn of events after a bizarre punt left the Wildcats with possession after ASU attempted to grab the UA kick. 

With another opportunity, Dawkins found a way to do more than salvage field possession. Instead, he ran along the left sideline for a 50-yard touchdown. 

A failed two-point coverage kept ASU on top 35-30 with 13:04 left in the game. 

Momentum shifted once again on the Sun Devils’ next drive as they would go three-and-out for the first time in the second half. 

ASU’s quickly picked itself back up with a surge from its defense. A sack on top of two other solid defensive plays led to a fifth UA punt. 

The Sun Devils’ offense tumbled forward with Richard and Ballage bringing ASU within striking distance before Wilkins found Harry for a NFL-caliber catch in the end zone. 

The nine-yard touchdown put ASU up 42-30.

Unable to cut into the ASU lead, the Wildcats fell to the Sun Devils 42-30.  


Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @Anthony_Totri on Twitter.   

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