The annual Territorial Cup battle between the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona St. Sun Devils is finally here. Both schools are currently in the midst of a culture change with new head coaches, and this first season has been better than expected for both teams.
SB Nation Arizona has been previewing all aspects of the 2012 Territorial Cup. To wrap up our series, the staff has made their predictions for Friday Night's showdown. Will the Territorial Cup remain in Tucson, or does it head back up to Tempe?
Scott Coleman: Arizona 41, Arizona State 34
The underdog has won this game the past three years, and the last time the home team won was UA in 2008. I think that trend changes this time around. The Wildcats have scored an average of 38 points at home this year, and ASU hasn't played well away from the comforts of Sun Devil Stadium. Matt Scott and Ka'Deem Carey have big days and lead Arizona to their eighth win of the season, 41-34.
Jess Root: Arizona State 44, Arizona 35
This is going to be a barnburner. ASU's offense looks great against below average to average defenses. Arizona's is awful. They gave up 31 to Colorado. ASU's defense will be just stout enough to fight off a late rally by the Wildcats and once again the road team will take home the Territorial Cup.
Jose Romero: Arizona State 34, Arizona 30.
The Devils will score a defensive touchdown and will get plenty of pressure on the quarterback. On offense, ASU's running game will thrive in a back and forth game won late with a TD drive. Ka'Deem Carey will rush for 150 yards for the Cats.
Troy Erickson: Arizona State 38, Arizona 34
My prediction is that ASU will edge Arizona 38-34, strictly because ASU's defense will perform better than UofA. Taylor Kelly will have a banner passing day, throwing for over 300 yards and 3 TD's. Ka'deem Carey will rush for close to 150 yards, and Austin Hill will have close to 100 receiving yards, but it won't be quite enough.
Ryan Bafaloukos: Arizona 42, Arizona State 38
As much as I want to pick Arizona State, and as much as I would like the Territorial Cup come back to Tempe, I have to go with the Wildcats. I believe the Wildcats are the better team, they have the nation's leading rusher, a QB with over 3,000 yards passing and a WR with over 1,000 yards receiving. The Sun Devils have not beaten an FBS team with a winning record this season. The FBS opponents that ASU has beaten have a combined record of 12-44 and ASU has gotten outscored by 55 points against teams with winning records (0-4 in those games). In the end I think this is a very close game but the Wildcats win the game in the fourth quarter. Final Score: UA 42 ASU 38 Game MVP: Ka'Deem Carey
Cody Ulm: Arizona State 41, Arizona 35
While Ryan brings up some very good points that worry me, I still can't help but think that this Friday will go the Devils' way. The Wildcats defense is about as solid as a wet paper towel and I have no doubt that ASU is going to be able to get their's on the ground. And once the run game gets rolling, Taylor Kelly will have a field day in Tucson. Yes, Ka'Deem Carey is probably going to go bananas with the lanes Arizona State has been giving up lately but I doubt that will be enough. The normally steady Matt Scott has never seen anything quite like the Devils' pass rush and for that reason, I see him helping ASU win the turnover battle. I'd be pretty shocked if Arizona State turns it over more than two times and once they get a lead, they should be able to control the time of possession effectively. Game MVP: D.J Foster