ASU football withstood a late surge from rival Arizona and buried the Wildcats 52-37 to reclaim the Territorial Cup from their arch rivals at Sun Devil Stadium Saturday afternoon.
On the first ASU possession of the third quarter, redshirt senior quarterback Mike Bercovici fumbled on first down from the ASU 30-yard line, setting up Arizona with solid field position to cash in on their first points of the half.
Redshirt senior wide receiver Devin Lucien had nine catches for 190 yards and a touchdown and was voted the 2015 Bob Moran Territorial Cup Most Valuable Player by the media.
Redshirt senior kicker Casey Skowron was good from 37 yards out, his second attempt of the afternoon, to bring the Wildcats within 19 points, trailing 31-13 with 10:17 to go in the third quarter.
Skowron nailed a 46-yard field yard field goal at the end of the second Wildcat series, a nine-play, 63-yard drive that took 3:17 of game time with 3:35 to go in the third quarter.
Operating with redshirt freshman third-string quarterback Brandon Dawkins (who was reportedly sick and vomited on the sideline) in the second half, Arizona accumulated 308 yards of offense.
The Sun Devil defense frequently harassed Dawkins, recording seven sacks, with redshirt junior linebackers Antonio Longino and Salamo Fiso each contributing a sack and a half. Sophomore linebacker DJ Calhoun, junior defensive end Vilami Latu, redshirt senior defensive end Demetrius Cherry and freshman defensive end Jojo Wicker also registered sacks.
In the third quarter, the Wildcats doubled their quarterly offensive output from the first and second quarters with 163 yards — 95 of them came on redshirt junior wide reciever Trey Griffey's touchdown pass, reversing field and evading several defenders while picking a few solid blocks.
Senior wide receiver D.J. Foster's one yard touchdown run was the difference maker – pushing ASU ahead 38-23 with 10:14 to go.
But Sophomore receiver Tyrell Johnson got wide open for a 17-yard touchdown pass from Dawkins to bring the Wildcats within striking distance.
Arizona forced an ASU punt, but Dawkins threw an interception to freshman defensive back Kareem Orr, which was returned 21 yards for a touchdown.
On the ensuing Arizona possession, senior cornerback Lloyd Carrington intercepted a Dawkins pass and returned it 38-yards, the second consecutive pick-six for Dawkins.
Sophomore running back Demario Richard rushed for 105 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown. He left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury and did not return.
Bercovici threw for 315 yards and completed 21 of his 32 attempts.
Dawkins rushed for a 24-yard touchdown with 32 seconds remaining in the game.
Reach the sports editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @StefanJModrich on Twitter.