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Washington State's Jeff Tuel (10) is sacked by Arizona State's Brandon Magee, left, as teammate Junior Onyeali (5) watches during the first half in an NCAA college football game Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, in Tempe, Ariz. Arizona State defeated the Washington State 46-7. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Arizona State senior linebacker Brandon Magee did not play in last year's Territorial Cup.

Out with a ruptured Achilles tendon, the captain was forced to sit on the sidelines and watch while his team lost a fourth quarter lead and, eventually, the game.

Needless to say, the Devils' leading tackler said he's looking forward to Friday's matchup.

"When you play against top [offensive] talent you get a chance to go out there and also show your stuff, and as a defense we're very excited to face them," Magee told Arizona Sports 620's Doug and Wolf Wednesday. "What a better opponent than facing UofA.

"We're up for the challenge and it's going to be a very exciting game."

The Wildcats enter the game with a 7-4 (4-4) record, while the Sun Devils are 6-5 (4-4). Arizona has one of the best offenses in the country, while Arizona State's defense can make a similar claim about themselves.

It's up to Magee and his side of the ball to slow the Wildcats' attack, and that starts with running back Ka'Deem Carey.

"I'll say the best running back I've seen in the Pac-12 in a few years, honestly," Magee said of Carey. Arizona's sophomore leads the nation with 1,585 yards rushing to go along with 19 touchdowns, and has caught 32 passes for 289 yards and one score.

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What makes Carey special, Magee said, is the back's elusiveness.

"The main thing he does, leg tackles man, you've got to really hold on," he said. "He'll break leg tackles. And you've got to be real disciplined because he likes cutting gaps and he has very good vision, so if you're out of your hole he'll find it."

Of course, the Wildcats are not 22nd in the nation in scoring offense solely because of Carey and the running game. Magee, who is third on the team with 6.5 sacks, cautioned that the moment you focus too much on the run, quarterback Matt Scott will burn you.

"They also like to use Matt Scott's arm because he has a rocket for his arm," Magee said. "He likes to hit those quick-stop routes, quick slants, and he also throws a a good vertical ball, too.

"They have a pretty balanced offense, we've just got to stay disciplined, not get too hyped up and forget your responsibilities this game."

That will be easier said than done, given the intense rivalry between the schools. And when all is said and done, Magee believes this year's Territorial Cup will be similar to the last few.

"It's going to be a good one, it could come down to one play, trust me."

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