The Territorial Cup has not stayed in Tucson since 2016. 2018 was almost like that before Arizona lost a 19-point lead in Q4, and then there was that 2020 result that we just aren’t talking about.
Is this the year the Arizona Wildcats (4-7, 2-6 Pac-12) break through and reclaim college football’s oldest rivalry trophy? The Arizona State Sun Devils (3-8, 2-6) enter this game after losing three straight games and UA is a 4-point favorite according to the game Draft Kings Sports Book.
Who will win this matchup? This is what our employees think:
Kim Doss – Arizona wins 34-24
Jayden de Laura didn’t have his best week last week, to say the least. It was his tendency not to have two bad games in a row though, so one would hope that doesn’t happen again. The extent to which Jordan Morgan’s continued absence will affect this is still in question.
ASU allows just under 31 points per game, almost exactly what Arizona averages on offense. The Wildcats should be able to reach that average. On the other side of the ball, I don’t see them giving up their just over 36 point average to the Sun Devils team who are averaging about 25 points per game.
Ezra Amacher – Arizona wins 40-30
Wooo, that’s hard to predict. Arizona is the favorite and for good reason, having been the better team consistently this season. While ASU is hit or miss, the Wildcats have a clear advantage in the air, where they rank fifth in the nation in passing yards. The ASU defense was torn apart by the Pac-12’s senior quarterbacks. While de Laura may not be a top QB, he tends to do his best when something is on the line (down from last weekend).
This is of course the Territorial Cup, which means crazy things are bound to happen. However, I suspect the Arizona defense will do a good job if it includes Emory Jones, who has less mobility than you might think — he’s run for negative yards in four of eight games. Ultimately, this game will boil down to the Arizona defense getting the stops it needs and the Wildcats avoiding shooting themselves in the foot. Arizona wins better this Friday or it’s going to be a long, long offseason for Jedd Fisch.
Brandon Combs – Arizona wins 49-28
Arizona will win. The offense is too strong, and after a bad play against arguably the best defense in the conference, it will bounce back against a poor ASU defense. Yes, there will be feelings of rivalry, but it won’t be enough. Happy hate week everyone!
Adam Green – Arizona wins 38-20
It’s finally here! The game many look forward to all season is upon us, and rarely has Arizona had such a good chance of winning the Territorial Cup.
While Arizona has been a surprisingly decent team this season, Arizona State is poor. The Sun Devils have some talent, but managerial changes and such have meant they have seemingly hit rock bottom in recent weeks. Yes, this is a team that beat Washington, but they also lost to Stanford, so…
Perhaps the best thing the Sun Devils do is let the ball run, which fits right into one of the Cats’ weaknesses. However, this year’s ASU did not do particularly well. Their defense is struggling and their offense isn’t exactly impressive.
Should Arizona get off to a quick start, this has the makings of one that could go sideways. If it’s competitive, the bet here is that Arizona’s offense can win a shootout, but ASU’s can’t. Jayden de Laura and his receivers are primed to hit back big, and the Cats’ suddenly competent defense should be moderately successful.
It won’t be 70-7, but the Cats will end the season with a win and the trophy.
Brian J. Pedersen – Arizona wins 44-28
In terms of results, this season has mostly gone as I expected. There were a few upsets, notably the ability to upset UCLA and underperform against beatable Cal and Washington State teams, but by and large the Wildcats handled the bad teams and played against the good with mixed results.
ASU falls squarely into the bad team category. Not as bad as Colorado, but probably not as good as the San Diego State team, who dominated UA in Week 1 and who have since turned it around and are 7-4.
As the Wildcats have demonstrated all season, they can’t be stopped on offense unless they stop themselves. ASU doesn’t have the players to change that trend, so this should be a comfortable win as long as the Turnovers don’t happen. That’s a big if, but not that Jayden de Laura seems to be having his best games immediately after a poor performance, so he could be in line for a big one.
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