ASU Defeats Arizona In Epic Fashion, 30-29, 2OT

The Sun Devils blocked two extra points -- one to send the game into overtime, the other to seal the victory. This was a game no one will forget anytime soon.

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Arizona State Steals Wild Double OT Win In Tucson Over Arizona Wildcats

The Arizona State Sun Devil football program under the famous (infamous) Dennis Erickson has not exactly lived up to expectations. They went into Tucson with a 5-6 record and little chance of a bowl appearance this season. The Arizona Wildcats on the other hand were the dominant football program in the state and the holders of a respectable 7-4 tally. 

An expected win for the Wildcats over their in-state hated rivals in college football's oldest rivalry trophy, the Territorial Cup, would have propelled the Cats to an almost certain appearance in the Alamo Bowl. Now, all bets are off for the team from Tucson while the Sun Devil await word on their appeal to the NCAA for a waiver that if granted, could have them bowl-bound.

The game itself was simply breathtaking or heartbreaking depending on where your desert allegiances lie. 


The first half saw very little offense from either side and was more notable for sloppy play and untimely penalties. The Sun Devils were up 6-0 going into the second half which saw the offenses get back on track as both teams were able to put up points.

The game ended in dramatic fashion with Nick Foles leading his Arizona team down the field to tie the score at 20-200 with under a minute left on the clock. A simple point after kick would have secured the win for the Cats for the third straight year but Alex Zendejas was blocked. That sent the game into overtime for first time in the history of this rivalry game which dates back to 1899.

Both team scored field goals in the first over time and both teams scored touch downs in the second overtime. With ASU leading 30-29, the Wildcats only had to kick the extra point to send the game into a third overtime but once again Zendejas was blocked and the boys from Tempe and all the faithful Sun Devil fans went nuts.

The irony can't be overlooked by Sun Devils kicker Thomas Weber who tied a school record with his five-for-five field goal kicks in this game. Weber had point after attempts blocked twice this season (Wisconsin and USC) in games that the Sun Devils ended up losing by one point each time. Weber also missed a point after try in the Devils three-point loss to Stanford.

The teams were statistically as close as the final score (30-29) with UA putting up a total of 390 yards offense and ASU just one yard less. 



Territorial Cup: ASU Defeats Arizona In Epic Fashion, 30-29 2OT

I was on the sideline for the final 7 minutes of the fourth quarter and both overtime periods. I watched as two talented teams gave everything they had, and the result was an extremely entertaining, tension-filled finale to a great game.

The Sun Devils blocked two extra points to defeat the Wildcats, 30-29. Territorial Cup games are often close and full of intrigue, but this one was the best I've ever witnessed. Leads traded, kicks blocked, punts muffed, touchdowns scored - this game had it all.

Brock Osweiler put it together towards the end of the game, and Cameron Marshall carried the team (literally) to the victory. Alex Zendejas went from hero in 2009 to goat in 2010, a feeling Thomas Weber is sure to relish.

Weber gets my MVP award for this game. He was perfect on all his field goal and extra point attempts, and trust me, he had some lengthy, meaningful kicks to make today.

All in all, I'm far too excited to write any more. You know how great this game was - check House Of Sparky to hang out with the victors of tonight's Territorial Cup battle.


Arizona Takes 14-6 Lead Over ASU After Three Quarters In Territorial Cup

Nick Foles finally made a big play, throwing a long reception to Terrence Miller that took the Wildcats down to the ASU 28. The very next play, Foles hit Juron Criner on a diving catch in the end zone to take a 7-6 lead over the Sun Devils.

Was the momentum about to shift from Tempe to Tucson? Only time will tell. A few punts later, and it became apparent that no one had the momentum - this game is a quagmire.

The passing game for Arizona State was reborn in the third quarter, with Cameron Marshall picking up 18 yards on a big third down and Mike Willie securing a first down of his own to cross midfield.

ASU decided to go for it on fourth and 3, and Osweiler's pass was off target to Kerry Taylor. Arizona made the Sun Devils pay when Foles threw a bomb to Criner for yet another score.

At the end of the third, Arizona takes a 14-6 lead over ASU, though they are threatening to score.


Halftime Report: Punchless Wildcats Unable To Score Against Sun Devils, Trail 6-0

Trevor Hankins started off the second quarter by shanking a punt, which went a total of eight yards. The snap was low and it's obvious that Hankins was concerned about the block rush, but there is no excuse for such a poor kick. Arizona started off their drive with prime positioning at the ASU 34.

After a few bad plays and penalties from the Wildcats, Alex Zendejas came on to punt - and shanked his kick for a net punt of zero yards. In all my time as a sports fan, I don't think I've ever seen such a lousy display of punting.

Arizona's offense has been ineffective the entire evening, failing to convert their first seven third down attempts and punting seven times over the first two quarters.

ASU has also had difficulty moving the ball, and this game has taken shape as an epic defensive struggle. Others might say it's a game with two inept teams punting the ball back and forth. Who is to say which opinion is correct? At this point, the game has been difficult to watch.

Both teams had their chances. Nick Foles overthrew a wide open Juron Criner on a go route, a sure touchdown had the pass been on target. Osweiler had a similar play occur with Aaron Plfugrad in the first quarter - neither quarterback could capitalize on the defensive lapse.

Arizona finally converted on their 8th third down attempt, with Foles connecting with David Roberts. The Wildcats then began to utilize the run game effectively, running an end around for a first down and picking up six with Nic Grigsby on the next play.

Even after some success, the Wildcats shot themselves in the foot with a illegal formation penalty that pushed them out of field goal range.

The Sun Devils found themselves backed up in the own zone, but Osweiler was able to lead a nice drive that mixed scrambling and passing to move the chains into Arizona territory. Once again, Thomas Weber delivered, nailing a 36-yard field goal.

At the half, ASU leads, 6-0 over the Arizona Wildcats.


First Quarter Report: Defense Reigns Supreme In Territorial Cup's First Stanza

Neither ASU nor Arizona could muster much on offense against the other, with strong defensive play leading the way. Brock Osweiler had plenty of time to find open Sun Devil receivers, but with the Wildcats only rushing four men, there were plenty of people in coverage to take away the easy passes.

Osweiler completed only 2 out of 10 passes for 26 yards, hitting Gerell Robinson on both completions. The crowd noise and game tape from last weekend have surely played a role in Osweiler coming down to earth after his UCLA performance.

Thomas Weber surprised everyone when he connected on a 52-yard field goal. That kick could have easily gone through from 60 yards out - it was that strong of a kick.

Nick Foles hasn't fared much better for the Wildcats, completing only 5 of 10 passes for 29 yards. Foles was replaced by Matt Scott by the end of the first quarter, who promptly went three and out on a few rushing attempts.

Osweiler was tackled on the last play of the first quarter at the ASU 24-yard line, and that's how it would end: a defensive battle with a big field goal mixed in. ASU 3, Arizona 0. 

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