ASU-Arizona rivalry 101: All you need to know
The rivalry between Arizona and ASU is nothing new, as the first Duel in the Desert occurred way back in 1899.
Here’s a look at some information you should know about the longstanding showdown between Arizona’s biggest universities.
• In case you didn’t already know, the winner gets the Territorial Cup trophy.
• The Territorial Cup was first awarded after the Thanksgiving 1899 game in Tucson, to Arizona Territorial Normal School, what ASU was called then.
• The Territorial Cup is the second oldest trophy, following the Little Brown Jug of the Michigan/Minnesota rivalry by eight years.
• The cup was lost for eight decades, before being found in the basement of a church near ASU in the early 1980s, and then it was displayed in various ASU collections. In 2001, then ASU president Lattie Coor led a campaign to share the trophy with the UA.
• Arizona has won three of the last four games against ASU. If not for two missed extra points in 2010, the Wildcats would have won four in a row against the Sun Devils, which would have been the longest win streak in the rivalry since the 1980s.
Senior fullback/defensive lineman Taimi Tutogi said it’s difficult to say what the outcome might be because the game is always so unpredictable.
“I’d like to say we’ve taken control,” Tutogi said. “It’s been a tough battle through my years here. I know we lost my sophomore year here with the field goal [sic] and that was a big thing, but we’re just going to try and keep the tradition going as best we can.”
• Arizona leads the series 47-37-1.
“The crowd gives the home team advantage, but coming in as the road team, the away team knows that they have to prepare harder,” junior running back Daniel Jenkins.
• From 2005 to 2007, ASU won three in a row. Arizona went 3-0 from 1993 to 1995.
• The Wildcats won five in a row in the 1980s, during “The Streak,” when UA went 8-0-1 against the Sun Devils from 1982 to 1990. ASU’s streak was 1965-1973, when it went undefeated in the rivalry.
• Former Wildcats kicker Alex Zendejas missed an extra point with the game tied in 2010 to send the game into overtime. Then with UA trailing by one, he missed another point after a touchdown to give the Sun Devils a 30-29 win.
“That was a tough loss,” senior quarterback Matt Scott said. “Obviously we felt like we had them late in the game. We had a couple chances to score and you know we just didn’t work, didn’t come through with the points we needed.”
• The Zendejas family has played a major role in the rivalry. In 2009, Alex kicked the game winning field goal at ASU after Sun Devils’ Kyle Williams muffed a punt.
Senior John Bonano would replace Alex at kicker and set the UA record for consecutive PATs, currently 73 in a row, passing Max Zendejas, Alex’s uncle, who had 68 straight. Alex’s uncles Luis and Alan kicked for ASU.
• With UA’s Rich Rodriguez and ASU’s Todd Graham, this year’s game is a rare match up of coaches making their debut in the rivalry. The last was in 2001, John Mackovic led the UA and Dirk Koetter led ASU.
• The last time the rivalry game featured two bowl teams, was 1997, when UA won 20-14 and went to the Insight.com Bowl — now known as the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl — while ASU went to the Sun Bowl. This year the Wildcats have, for all intents and purposes, clinched a bowl and the Sun Devils are expected to go bowling even with a potential loss.
• The last time Arizona was ranked for the ASU game was 1998, when it was No. 7 in the AP poll. During the 50-42 win against ASU in 1998, Trung Canidate rushed for 288 yards, a record sophomore running back Ka’Deem Carey broke a couple weeks ago against Colorado with 366 yards.
• Canidate is the current UA single season record holder for most rushing yards, but Carey trails him by just 18 yards. Former Wildcat great Art Luppino’s record of 21 touchdowns is in jeopardy as well, as Carey has rushed for 19 touchdowns.
• Carey, a Tucson native and graduate of Canyon del Oro High School, chose between the UA and ASU. Obviously, Arizona won that battle.
“There’s nothing better than being a Wildcat. At the end of the day,” Carey said, “red and blue just fits me more.”