A Sun Devil remembers his favorite memories of the Territorial Cup
1. 1996- ASU 56, Arizona 14 - The Sun Devils had already wrapped up their second trip to the Rose Bowl the week prior by ripping Cal 35-7. This game was basically for pride, and ASU made their fan base proud with a thorough 56-14 dismantling of the Wildcats. The image of Keith Poole in the end zone, arms raised in front of Arizona's Chris McAlister, is one that is burned in the minds of ASU fans forever.
Yes, the game had its ugliness -- several players were ejected because of cheap shots. But this game was cathartic for ASU fans. A decade earlier, the Sun Devils had wrapped up a trip to the Rose Bowl a week earlier, meaning the Arizona game was meaningless in the Pac-10 standings. But the Wildcats rose up and beat ASU 34-17 in a game featuring the world's slowest 106-yard interception return for a touchdown by Chuck Cecil. Wildcat fans chirped about that game for ten years, and the 1996 shellacking shut them up...temporarily.
2. 1980 - ASU 44, Arizona 7 - This is the earliest memory I have of the rivalry, and the fuzziest. But I remember watching the distruction on an ABC regional broadcast that Saturday afternoon, and watching Vernon Maxwell wreak havoc on the 'Cats. The sophomore linebacker blocked a punt in the first quarter and fell on it for a touchdown, intercepted a Tom Tunnicliffe pass and had eight tackles in the Sun Devils' victory. Bryan Caldwell also recovered two fumbles, and future Super Bowl Shuffler Mike Richardson brought a pick back 35 yards for a touchdown.
3. 1992 - ASU 7, Arizona 6 - I remember being so sick of hearing about Arizona's top-ranked rushing defense, the one that had earned them the nickname "Desert Swarm". Yeah, they were good -- and they were very good in holding the Sun Devils to almost nothing on the ground for the first three quarters of the 1992 rivalry game. That is until the third play of the fourth quarter, when Kevin Galbreath ran right, broke tackles of Arizona safety Brandon Sanders and linebacker Brant Boyer, and rumbled 51 yards for a touchdown. ASU's defense, which was pretty stout in its own right (and without the annoying nickname), held on for the win, the first in the rivalry for head coach Bruce Snyder.
4. 1991 - ASU 37, Arizona 14 - "The Streak". It's definitely right up there in the most painful memories for Sun Devils everywhere. For nine straight years, the Wildcats didn't lose to ASU on the football field. Yes, that streak included a tie in 1987, when a gutless call by Dick Tomey to kick a field goal in the game's closing seconds led Arizona to a 4-4-3 record. Yes, they played for their third tie in a rivalry game! Anyway, the streak finally came to an end on November 23, 1991 when the Sun Devils demolished the Wildcats 37-14 at Sun Devil Stadium in Larry Marmie's final game as ASU's head coach. Eric Guliford scored on a touchdown catch and a 68-yard punt return and the ASU defense held Arizona to just 155 yards of total offense.
5. 2010 - ASU 30, Arizona 29 (2OT) - The game meant nothing in the grand scheme of things. ASU needed a win to get to six victories and a chance at a bowl game, but since they had wins against two FCS teams, their appeal was denied. This was just an entertaining football game. The Sun Devils, hampered by a struggling offense, trailed 14-6 entering the fourth quarter but got a Brock Osweiler to Mike Willie touchdown pass sandwiched by two Thomas Weber field goals to take a 20-14 lead. But Arizona would score on a Nick Foles touchdown pass to David Douglas with just :27 left in the game to tie it up. An Alex Zendejas extra point would hand Pitchfork Nation another heart-breaking loss, but James Brooks, the 6-foot-5 defensive end blocked the extra point, sending the game into overtime. The teams traded field goals in the first overtime, and in the second, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 30-23 lead on a two-yard touchdown run by Cameron Marshall. Arizona got the ball back and scored on a Foles lateral to Douglas who ran it in from nine yards out. An extra point would tie the game and send it to a third overtime period, but Zendejas kicked the extra point low, it was deflected, fluttered off wide-right, and ASU scored an improbable 30-29 win. ASU, who lost two games because of botched extra points during the course of the 2010 campaign, blocked two in the same game to beat their rivals.
Like I said, in the grand scheme of things, the win did nothing more than leave a pleasant taste in the mouth after a lackluster season, but I'll never forget the interview ASU linebacker Brandon Magee gave on the field after the game.
"I feel great, I've never felt like this in my life," Magee said, fighting back pure giddiness.
It's amazing how one win over one team can make you feel that way, isn't it?
- Steve Patterson, ASU athletic director - Tuesday May 14Patterson talks to the guys about the Territorial Cup & scheduling with Notre Dame Football
- Steve Patterson, ASU athletic director - Tuesday May 7Patterson talks to Doug & Wolf about the state of Sun Devil Athletics
- Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director - Thursday May 2Doug and Wolf talk to Patterson about the latest news coming out of the Pac-12 meetings.
- Brandon Magee , Former ASU Linebacker - Wednesday May 1Doug & Wolf ask Brandon Magee about signing with the Cowboys after going undrafted.
- Steve Patterson, ASU Athletic Director - Tuesday April 23Patterson talks to Doug and Wolf about ASU football games potentially being played at Chase field du