Recap: Arizona vs. Arizona State
Tucson, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) - The public address announcer at Arizona Stadium never relayed the results of the game in Pasadena. Arizona's focus was sorely on its in-state rival, and the Territorial Cup is now back in Tucson.
The Wildcats are hoping to add another trophy to their collection next week.
Nick Wilson ran for three scores and Samajie Grant hauled in both of Anu Solomon's two touchdown passes as the 12th-ranked Wildcats defeated No. 13 Arizona State 42-35 on Friday afternoon.
The victory over the Sun Devils, coupled with No. 8 UCLA's loss to Stanford, wrapped up the Pac-12 South and punched Arizona's ticket into the Pac-12 title game in Santa Clara against No. 3 Oregon next Friday.
"Our senior class deserves a lot of credit for establishing a great attitude and culture in our football program," Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez said. "We're where we want to be, playing for a Pac-12 Championship."
The Wildcats handed the Ducks their lone loss of the season Oct. 2 in Eugene.
Stanford put the finishing touches of a 31-10 rout of the Bruins at the Rose Bowl just minutes prior to Mike Bercovici's 4th-and-12 pass with 1:07 remaining into a crowd of Arizona players falling incomplete.
The incompletion also sealed the Wildcats' (10-2, 7-2 Pac-12) first 10-win season wince 1998.
Wilson carried the ball 24 times for 178 yards, Solomon was 15-of-21 for 208 yards and Grant posted 91 yards on four catches for Arizona, which has won four straight games.
Bercovici filled in for Taylor Kelly late in the third quarter. He finished 14-of-22 for 123 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Kelly completed 13-of-22 passes for 144 yards and two scores for Arizona State (9-3, 6-3), which dropped two of three to close the year on the heels of a five-game winning streak.
"We beat ourselves tonight and it killed us," Sun Devils coach Todd Graham said.
The Sun Devils had won the last two Territorial Cups. Friday's Duel in the Desert marked the first time since 1986 that both teams were ranked in the top-25.
The 88th all-time meeting between the schools was tied at 21-21 before Arizona scored touchdowns on each of its first two touches of the third quarter.
A busted ASU coverage allowed Austin Hill to pick up 15 yards on a 3rd-and-11 and Solomon rolled right later in the drive before finding David Richards for a gain of 31 down to the 1. Wilson ran it in a play later to put the Wildcats in front.
Zane Gonzalez missed a 45-yard field goal wide left on the Sun Devils' ensuing trek and Wilson burst through the middle for a 72-yard score on the very next snap to make it 35-21.
Bercovici flipped a 2-yard score to Kody Kohl early in the fourth to get ASU within a touchdown and it forced an Arizona punt on its next offensive touch. Jourdon Grandon, though, broke on a pass from his safety position and picked it off a play later.
Solomon hit Grant for a 20-yard score shortly thereafter for a 42-28 Arizona margin.
The Sun Devils responded with Bercovici's 9-yard TD toss to De'Marieya Nelson with 5:02 to play and their defense got Bercovici the ball back following a three-and-out.
Bercovici's 4th-and-12 throw intended for Jaelon Strong along the left sideline was nowhere near him.
A bizarre first half saw both teams record defensive touchdowns, Arizona stopping ASU on a 4th-and-goal at the 1 and blocking a punt and a 69-yard touchdown play.
Anthony Lopez returned a fumble 25 yards for a touchdown on the third play of the game and ASU running back D.J. Foster was stopped for a loss on the 4th- and-goal play midway through the first.
Grant's 69-yard catch and run for a score gave Arizona a 14-7 cushion three plays after Demetrius Cherry returned a fumble two yards for a touchdown.
Strong's diving 50-yard catch led to his one-handed, left-handed 3-yard snag in the back of the end zone, which tied the game early in the second.
Cayleb Jones' blocked punt resulted in a Wilson 21-yard TD scamper, but Kelly's 7-yard TD strike to Demario Richard late in the half knotted the contest again.Game Notes
Arizona linebacker Scoobie Wright had two of the Wildcats' seven sacks ... The
Wildcats lead the all-time series between the schools 48-39-1 ... ASU
outgained Arizona 380-333.