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.