In a double-overtime thriller, Arizona State edged Arizona 30-29 to claim the Territorial Cup on Thursday night after the game-tying PAT was blocked by the Sun Devils.
First, I need to take a deep breath. Okay, that’s better.
What a game to end all Thursday night games in the regular season. Both teams showed heart, guts, and a hunger to win this football game. But in the end, Arizona State played better, and deserved this win. That’s hard to take if you’re a Wildcat fan, but it’s the truth.
This game was very sloppy in the first half. Both offenses were horrendous. And who knows how Arizona State scored six points in that half, because Brock Osweiler started 3-15. Ouch. But the Wildcats were worse, and at one point, Nick Foles came out of the game in favor of Matt Scott. One could say that defenses ruled the first half, but I say it was just poor offensive execution.
The second half was much different. Two deep strikes from Foles to Juron Criner put Arizona up 14-9 heading into the fourth quarter, until ASU scored midway through the fourth to take a 17-14 lead. After a field goal that pushed the lead to 20-14, Foles led a brilliant drive that was capped off with a David Douglas five-yard touchdown, and then it seemed all but sure that the Wildcats were going to come back to win. But Alex Zendejas had his PAT blocked, and we were heading to overtime.
In the first OT, both teams made a field goal, and it was 23-23. After the Sun Devils scored to make it 30-23, Foles passed it laterally to Douglas, and the wide receiver scored again from nine yards out to make it 30-29. And then the unbelievable happened. Again. Zendejas’ kick was blocked, Arizona State wins, 30-29.
Some positive notes for Arizona: I was very impressed by Nick Foles in the second half and OT, as well as the toughness of Keola Antolin. Foles was almost perfect in the second half, and threw three touchdowns. Antolin only ran fan for 83 yards on 25 carries, but he came away with some big runs that allowed Arizona to stay in the game.
After the loss, Arizona finishes the regular season 7-5, 4-5 in the Pac-10. Disappointing, nonetheless, after starting the season 7-1. Most likely, Arizona will end up in the Alamo Bowl, unless Washington wins on Saturday, and the bowl committee goes with a hot UW team instead of a reeling Arizona squad. But there is much optimism for the future for Wildcat fans. Foles, Antolin, and Criner are all juniors. And all should be coming back. So stay positive, fans, because next year, Arizona should be considered one of the favorites in the Pac-12 South.
About the Author
Written by Henry Childs
I am currently a senior at the University of Oregon studying Broadcast Journalism. Although I have a love for my Ducks, I am simply an avid college football fan trying to get a head start in the sports journalism world. Born and raised in Portland, I am also a ginormous Portland Trailblazers fan. Some of my loves include golf, Dr. Pepper, pugs, and living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.