Arizona Wildcats on a dominant run against rival ASU Sun Devils

Arizona State v Arizona
Arizona State v Arizona / Christian Petersen/GettyImages
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Football: 2-0

Michael Wiley
Arizona v Arizona State / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

After losing eight of the 10 Duels in the Desert between 2011 and 2021, the Wildcats flipped the switch and have rattled off wins in back-to-back seasons. 2021's Territorial Cup — known as "70-7" infamously in Tucson and affectionately in Tempe — was the breaking point for Arizona as the culmination of the whirlwind of chaos Kevin Sumlin left in his wake.

Starting in 2022, that was no more. The Jayden de Laura-led Wildcats (4-7, 2-6 in Pac-12) hosted the Sun Devils (3-8, 2-6 in Pac-12), and running back Michael Wiley had himself a day. Wiley rushed for 214 yards and three touchdowns while catching three passes for 51 more yards in the narrow 38-35 victory to cap the season off on a high note.

2023 was a whole different animal. With Noah Fifita at the helm, the Wildcats (8-3, 6-2 in Pac-12) put on a clinic and embarrassed the Sun Devils (3-8, 2-6 in Pac-12) in front of their home crowd. Fifita threw for an Arizona record 527 yards and paired it with five touchdowns, while wide receiver Tetairoa McMillan hauled in 11 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown.

The 59-23 final score is somehow still misleading, and the game sat at 52-7 with 9:08 remaining in the third quarter. Michael Wiley had yet another signature day and found the endzone three times for the second straight year. With Arizona still riding the upward trend and ASU trying to mitigate the downturn, it's safe to assume this record will be 3-0 at this time next year.