Arizona State vs. Arizona: The history of the Territorial Cup

Jennifer Hilderbrand-US PRESSWIRE

On Friday, one of the longest-standing rivalries in college football will add a new chapter, when Arizona State takes on Arizona for the "Territorial Cup." It will be the 85th match-up between the two, with the series dating back all the way to 1899.

One of college football's most underrated rivalries will add a new chapter on Friday, when Arizona State and Arizona will do battle for the "Territorial Cup." It will be the 85th match-up between the two schools separated by just two hours and 111 miles of Arizona highway.

The first Territorial Cup was played on Thanksgiving Day in 1899, at a time when Arizona State was known as the "Arizona Territorial Normal School" and traveled to Tucson to take on the University of Arizona. According to the Territorial Cup's website it was the first game ever for Arizona, but even after the Territorial School defeated them, the Arizona players still invited their opponents to a campus dormitory for a post-game Thanksgiving dinner.

And while the rivalry hasn't remained quite so cordial since then, it is still one of the most hotly contested in all of college football. Arizona leads the series 47-37-1, and has won three of the last four match-ups between the two.

This year the Wildcats again enter as favorites after winning four of their last five games overall, including an upset over No. 9 USC on Oct. 27. Meanwhile Arizona State is 6-5 under first-year head coach Todd Graham.

Friday's game will kick off at 8 p.m. MT and be broadcast by ESPN.

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