Arizona State pulls away to win Territorial Cup
Manny Wilkins threw three touchdown passes and Arizona State ran for three more as the Sun Devils came from behind to defeat Arizona 42-30 in the annual Territorial Cup rivalry game on Saturday afternoon in Tempe, Ariz.
While ASU (7-5, 6-3 Pac-12) found consistency on offense, Arizona (7-5, 5-4) couldn’t as it imploded in the second half behind an uncertain quarterback situation and a punting game that has been inconsistent all season. ASU took advantage of all of it.
Wilkins completed 11 of 17 passes for 163 yards.
Arizona, up 24-14, opened the second half with junior quarterback Brandon Dawkins, who lost his starting job in early October. Arizona starter Khalil Tate was seen favoring his left non-throwing shoulder as he left to the locker room at halftime, but he did make a brief second-half appearance before again leaving the game.
Arizona went three-and-out on its first possession of the second half, and then had its punt blocked in a momentum-changing moment. ASU turned into the possession into a touchdown when Demario Richard scored from the 1-yard line to make it 24-21
ASU intercepted Dawkins on the ensuing drive, and Sun Devils scored on 5-yard touchdown pass from Wilkins to N’Keal Harry. It was ASU’s first lead of the game, 28-24 with 8:50 left in the third quarter.
Tate returned to the game but Arizona could not move the ball on its next possession. ASU then went up 35-24 with a 6-yard run by Richard.
Richard rushed for 165 yards and is the fifth ASU running back to surpass 3,000 yards in a career. He has 3,152 yards.
Dawkins, who returned late into the third quarter, scored on a 50-yard run to make it 35-30 with 13 minutes left in the game. Arizona failed on the 2-point conversion.
Arizona State put the game away on a 9-yard scoring pass from Wilkins to Harry with 4:51 left.
Arizona scored on its first two possessions to go up 14-0. ASU closed the gap to 17-14 but fell behind by 10 when Wildcats running back J.J. Taylor made a nice cut to score from the 15-yard line.
Arizona State had a chance to score just before the half, but cornerback Lorenzo Burns picked off Wilkins with a minute left.
Tate completed 10 consecutive passes for 127 yards in the first half. His lone incompletion came on a Hail Mary pass to end the half.