Red Friday has arrived! The Duel In The Desert is back in Tucson for the 85th meeting between the two teams that matter in Arizona, making it the oldest trophy bearing rivalry. Both teams have new coaches this year and have produced decent seasons thus far. Both coaches will be much more appreciated in their respected cities with a win Friday night. The two coaches have had a long relationship dating back to the 90’s and have worked together before. Now they are coaches for huge rivals and will be playing against each other on National Television in a primetime game by ESPN (8 PM Mountain Standard).
ASU (6-5,4-4) have the edge in the overall series leading 47-37-1 and will look to use thier great defense to try and stop Arizona’s fast paced offense. RichRod has turned this U of A team around in a heartbeat almost doubling the number of victories from last year and creating a team that is eligible to play in a bowlgame. He has gotten his players to buy into his system and it is paying off. Matt Scott was one of the nation’s leaders in yards before getting hurt and stud running back Ka’Deem Carey is the nation’s leading rusher with 185 yards along and a whopping 19 touchdowns. Arizona’s receiving core is lead by Austin Hill and Dan Buckner who have combined for 1,849 yards and 13 touchdowns. Look for these two to have big games with both having one touchdown each.
Meanwhile, ASU has a stud quarterback who spreads out the offense well to his athletic playmakers that Arizona will look to contain. Quarterback Taylor Kelly has 2581 passing yards and has thrown for 25 touchdowns thus far. Kelly is a playmaker and is probably one of the main reasons why ASU has won some of their closer games. Running backs Cameron Marshall and Marion Grice are two the Wildcats will need to keep an eye on. Marshall is a senior and the Scum Devil’s leading rusher, with 503 yards on the ground along with 6 TDs, and last year he was a 1,000 yard rusher and had 18 TDs. Meanwhile, Marion Grice has really come on this year being a huge contributer on offense in both the rushing and passing attack. He accounts for 14 total touchdowns ( 8 recieveing, 4 rushing). With limited looks he’s been able to convert on his opportunities, so look for ASU to try and get him involved early.
Arizona fans have been talking about this game since last year’s game came down to the last seconds, with the Wildcats prevailing 31-27. Trash talking never stops between the two schools and expect many fights at the tailgates and bars. There will only be one winner after tomorrow night’s big rivalry game and it will be because of a late defensive effort. Look for Arizona to come out on top in a shout ending 41-38. BEARDOWN!