The Territorial Cup – the oldest college football rivalry trophy – will play its 96th meeting Friday in Tucson.
While the Wildcats may have an all-time 49-45-1 series lead since the rivalry began in 1899, the Sunny Devils have been a more favorable team in recent years with their 15-7 record. millennium.
The latest edition is out as both teams miss bowl season and the Wildcats (4-7) look to wrap up 2022 and mark it as a turning point. For the Sunny Devils (3-8), it’s about the off-season, when the search for coaches is aimed at updating the atmosphere around the program.
Beginning in 2010, here are the last six Territorial Cup football games played in Tucson:
2020: ASU 70, Arizona 7
It was December 11th and with the pandemic canceling part of the season and the COVID-19 outbreak hitting ASU especially hard after the season started late, the teams entered with an overall record of 0-6.
Arizona State forward DJ Taylor returned the first 100-yard hit to score the goal. Then a fumble after two plays in Arizona after the scrimmage led to another Sun Devil touchdown less than a minute into the game, and from there – just look at that score, man.
That day, the Wildcats lost three more fumbles and threw three interceptions between the three playing quarterbacks.
In the Sunshine Devils, quarterback Jayden Daniels went 9-of-11 for 203 yards and two touchdowns, but ASU still struggled to maintain a fast break. Arizona State rushed 50 times for 259 yards (5.2 carry yards) and Rachaad White scored three points and 133 yards.
None of the Sunny Devils’ assists have exceeded seven rallies.
The larger result was that Arizona fired head coach Kevin Sumlin hours after the loss and ended the year 0-5 (the final game against Cal was cancelled).
ASU won their last game of the year at Oregon State to finish 2-2.
2018: ASU 41, Arizona 40
The meeting of two rivals in Old Pueblo became one of the greatest battles of all time.
With Arizona State trailing 40-21 early in the fourth quarter, the game looked almost over and the cup was destined to return to Tucson.
But the Sun Devils managed to score 20 unanswered points, take a one-point lead, and give the Wildcats one last opportunity to score the game-winning 45-yard field goal.
Unfortunately for Arizona, the kick went wide of the team’s ball that season as the loss took the Wildcats’ record to 5–7 and the Sun Devils went 7–5 to the Las Vegas Bowl.
2016: Arizona 56, ASU 35
For those who may not remember, this can most easily be described as a “running game”.
That’s because Arizona only completed three of the eight whopping pass attempts in a game in which the Wildcats managed 56 points.
So how is this even possible, you ask?
In then head coach Todd Graham’s last game in Tucson, the Sun Devils conceded an astounding 515 yards on 46 attempts (11.2 per carry).
That night, the Wildcats had three rushers that went over 100 yards: Brandon Dawkins (183), Samaji Grant (176) and Zach Green (126).
2014: Arizona 42, ASU 35
The 2014 Territories Cup featured an additional ingredient.
Due to UCLA’s loss that day, the game (unofficially) became the “Pac-12 South championship game”.
In what was an ongoing affair that featured fan favorites such as Arizona’s Scooby Wright and ASU’s DJ Foster, the Wildcats eventually came out victorious in their only Pac-12 championship game in school history.
Unfortunately for the Wildcats, they failed to beat the Oregon Ducks for the second time this season and finished second in the first college football playoff.
Arizona will then face the Boise State Broncos in the 2014 Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve.
2012: ASU 41, Arizona 34
The 2012 version was the first meeting between former Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez and former ASU coach Todd Graham.
In another classic Territory Cup matchup, the Sunny Devils managed a landslide victory thanks to two big losses and a punt block, all in the fourth quarter.
2010: ASU 30, Arizona 29
In what was arguably the craziest Territory Cup football game of the decade, Arizona State managed to win under the most unlikely of circumstances.
With 30 seconds left in the game and Arizona trailing 20–14, the Wildcats were able to score the decider and sent in their kicker for what conceivably would have been an extra point for winning the game.
Unfortunately for Alex Zendejas, his shot was blocked, resulting in overtime between the two bitter rivals from the state.
But for Zendejas and Wildcats, things went from bad to worse.
After a touchdown in Arizona that reduced the Sun Devils lead to one, ASU claimed the game by blocking another extra point.