Arizona State beat Arizona by a point last year in a 41-40 thriller in Tucson. The rematch in this season’s Territorial Cup… would be no such barn-burner.
The Sun Devils wound up trailing at home 7-6 to their rivals down South at the halftime break on Saturday night as it was the defenses that ruled the field this time around.
Khalil Tate got the start at quarterback for the Wildcats and was generally making the most of it, throwing for 125 yards plus a TD and rushing for 53 more despite how tough it was to advance the football. He did toss a bad interception as time was winding down in the half but it was still more output overall than his counterparts were able to manage against a shockingly stingy UA defensive effort.
Making his first appearance in this rivalry series, ASU freshman QB Jayden Daniels was not quite picking up where he left off in that upset of Oregon last week in throwing for 94 yards on 11-of-17 passing. Tailback Eno Benjamin was also held in check with just 26 yards on the ground while big play machine Brandon Aiyuk netted 67 yards on five catches.
So yeah, it’s a little different type of game than a year ago but that doesn’t make it any less competitive as two programs who absolutely do not like each other have a half to play before one of them hoists the oldest rivalry trophy in the sport up.