Devils look to get the Territorial Cup back in their sights against the U of A on Saturday
By Harley Yearout // Football Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
TEMPE, AZ — The battle for the Territorial Cup between Arizona and Arizona State awaits in Tempe on Saturday.
But when Arizona and Arizona State meet, all records and past victories are thrown out the window.
“It’s the Territorial Cup, it’s the most important game,” Arizona State head coach Todd Graham said Monday. “For us to win this game, and get the Territorial Cup back, is the number one priority for us and our players.”
That will be all but easy, as Arizona quarterback Khalil Tate comes into Saturday’s matchup with records of his own under his belt.
Earlier this season, Tate became the first quarterback in Pac-12 history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a single season.
And it wasn’t even close, as he amassed 1,325 yards before this matchup with ASU.
He has 11 rushing touchdowns on the year and sits at 12th in the nation in rushing yards.
“They are definitely a dominate running football team but he does a great job of extending plays as well, he throws the ball extremely accurate down the field,” Graham said. “He is a complete package.”
However, Tate was held to 32 yards rushing in Arizona’s last matchup, a 48-28 loss to Oregon.
The winner of the Territorial Cup has been the home team every year since 2013.
“We’ve had a tremendous home record here and there is just no place like it. It’s pretty special,” Graham said. “I love the fact that our seniors get to have their last game on senior day on this field and in this game.”
Among those seniors will be running back Demario Richard, who needs just eight yards to break into the top five in Sun Devil rushing yardage.
“Before this year he was already a very good running back and a guy that has legitimacy statistically has been one of the better running backs to play here,” Graham said.
As for the rest of their seniors, it will be their senior night and their last game at Sun Devil Stadium.
“This group of seniors have invested an awful lot,” Graham said. “I know they’ll come out and make it a special night.”
Arizona State is coming off a 40-24 victory over Oregon State, which showed the Sun Devils jumped out to a 30-0 lead.
Kickoff is set for 2:30 p.m with Weston DeWitt and Chris Cadeau on the call.
Harley Yearout is a reporter for Blaze Sports. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Harley on Twitter @HarleyYearout