Nov. 23, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA: Arizona Wildcats running back (25) Ka

Arizona Implodes, Allows Arizona State to Snatch Victory in Territorial Cup Rivalry, 41-34

Nov. 23, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA: Arizona Wildcats quarterback (10) Matt Scott throws a pass in the first quarter against the Arizona State Sun Devils at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The Arizona Wildcats had the momentum. Ka’Deem Carey had just broken a 36 yard run. Four plays later, that momentum was gone and so, as it turned out, was the game.

On that fourth play, Arizona Quarterback Matt Scott took the ball, ran left, tried to “hurdle” a defender, and ended up fumbling the ball.  At this point, the Wildcats were up 27-20, looking to go up by two scores.

Six plays later, the Arizona State Sun Devils tied it up.  They then forced UA to punt, blocked that punt, and scored the next play.  On the next drive, which looked promising to start, it ended up with Scott throwing his third and final interception, a ball which deflected off of WR Austin Hill’s hands.  ASU returned it to the two yard line.  They scored moments later.

ASU- 41, UA- 27.

Talk about a momentum swing.

Arizona did score with just under two minutes left with a pass from Scott to receiver David Richards to pul within one touchdown.  But the attempt at an onside kick failed, handing ASU it’s fourth win in Tucson in the last six games.

This was the game of the year for these two programs.  With new coaches at the helm, both talked this game up for months, and both brought their teams close to pulling out a victory.  However, only one team was able to do that.

Arizona just shot itself in the foot too many times and when you turn the ball over four times, you are rarely going to win.

I wish I could say that ASU was the better team.  Now I am not saying they were worse, but Arizona self destructed and handed the game to the Sun Devils on a fork shaped platter.  Now both teams will wait for their bowl bids and both will end the season with the same 7-5 record.

Good, Bad, and the Ugly:

The Good:

Rushing Attack.

This game centered on running backs.  Arizona’s Ka’Deem Carey continued his torrid pace with 172 yards on 25 carries.  ASU’s Marion Grice led the charge on his side with 156 yards on 18 carries.  Both backs were aided with quality back ups, giving them time to either catch their breath (Grice) or recover from an apparent injury (Carey).  UA totaled 292 rushing yards and ASU notched slightly less at 269.  The most positive note of this game was Carey breaking Arizona’s single season rushing record.  Congrats to him on a historic season.  Plus, here’s a picture of him going airborne on his TD run.

People who like offense.

Arizona- 522

Arizona State- 460

Crowd.

The crowd was awesome.  In the first game since Iowa in 2010, the ZonaZoo (or what made up it) stayed the entire game.  On top of that, Arizona Stadium was packed to its brim, so congrats to everyone who made it out to the game.

ASU and UA band.

Both of the bands teamed up and played a couple Fun. songs.  For bands that do not get to practice together, they did a really good job.

The Bad:

Quarterback play.

Neither Matt Scott, nor Taylor Kelly played well.  The bad mostly goes to Scott, but Kelly did not exactly light up the scoreboard.  Scott had a less than 50% completion rate (19/39) and only averaged 5.9 yards a throw.  Kelly played composed and did not have a touchdown, but more importantly did not have any turnovers. He completed 16/19 for 191, but let the running game control the offense.

The Ugly:

Turnovers.

Do I even have to say more. Matt Scott made some horrendous throws and an even a more horrendous decision to try to jump a defender. Two of Scott’s four turnovers were major momentum killers.  Now I know Scott didn’t single handily cost Arizona the game, but his hand played a large part.

 

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Tags: Arizona State Sun Devils Arizona Wildcats

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