The Duel in the Desert is here.
As if the game already didn't have enough riding on the line in terms of bragging rights, pride and the coveted Territorial Cup, the Sun Devils also had their Pac-12 South division title hopes tied to a victory.
Arizona won the toss and elected to receive, but thanks to a decent kick, the settled for a touchback. The Wildcats marched down the field with a series of short passes by Nick Foles, which set up the defense to bite on a play-action pass that went for 48-yards to Juron Criner down to the Sun Devil one-yard line. The Devils appeared to have them stopped, but Osahon Irabor was called for pass interference on third down to give Arizona a new set of downs. That would prove costly, as two plays later Keola Antolin scored from a yard out to give the Wildcats an early 7-0 lead.
A great special teams tackle on the ensuing kickoff forced ASU to start at their own 19. The first two passes were tipped by Wildcat defenders, but Brock Osweiler was able to evade pressure and find Gerell Robinson for a nice 27-yard grab, and two plays later Aaron Pflugrad made a sensational one-handed grab to move into Arizona territory. However, Osweiler threw one behind Robinson and it was picked off by Shaquille Richardson and run back 41-yards.
The Wildcats wasted little time. Antolin turned a short screen into a 46-yard gain as he juked several ASU defenders and was finally taken down at the ASU three. Foles then found a wide open Ka'Deem Carey for an 11-yard score to extend the lead to 14-0.
Miles then fumbled the kickoff, but it was recovered by the Sun Devils. Osweiler was shaky with his accuracy, but found Robinson on several passes, including a 34-yarder to get to the Wildcat 10. Perhaps returning the favor, the Wildcats committed pass interference in the end zone, giving ASU a first and goal from the two. Two plays later, Cameron Marshall plunged in to cut the lead in half.
As the first quarter ended, the Wildcats were driving and had the ball at their own 49.