War of Words between U of A & ASU as rivalry game hits at 2:30 p - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

War of Words between U of A & ASU as rivalry game hits at 2:30 p.m. in Tempe

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Here's more on the U of A - ASU rivalry from Arizona Coach Rich Rodriguez, ASU Coach Todd Graham and players on both teams.   -Any bulletin board material?  Check it out as-aired-on- KVOA News 4 Tucson sportscast:

Here's more on the rivalry and "everything Arizona-ASU" compliments of Arizona Athletics:

The Arizona Wildcats are set to finish off their regular season schedule this Saturday with their annual Territorial Cup game at Arizona State. The Wildcats have won two of the past three matchups with the Sun Devils, including a 56-35 victory last season at Arizona Stadium. 

The two teams are set for a 2:30 p.m., kickoff Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium. Roxy Bernstein, Yogi Roth and Jill Savage will have the call on Pac-12 Network. 

Below is a full preview:

Some Game Themes: The 91st meeting in Territorial Cup history has a little extra meaning this week. In-state rivals Arizona and Arizona State were written off in mid-September by most all pundits. Now, two months later, each side has assured itself a winning conference record and the victor will lock up a second-place finish in the Pac-12 South behind highly-ranked USC. Indeed, the Territorial Cup trophy will represent a year's worth of bragging rights, but it also will tangibly represent a job well done to many players and coaches for altering the trajectories of their respective programs. For the loser, not all will be lost. A bowl berth is still promised, but bitterness will be a year-long aftertaste until next November's showdown … In terms of the matchup, look no further than the quarterbacks. Arizona's Khalil Tate must shake off his least productive showing of the season in last week's loss at Oregon. ASU's Manny Wilkins has been steady, especially protecting the football while still pushing the ball downfield to targets like the talented N'Keal Harry this season. With the end of the regular season here, perhaps the Sun Devils allow Wilkins to play more aggressively when he pulls the ball to run … A major question mark this week will be Arizona's defensive front. It was already a small and thin unit, but three in-game injuries leave plenty of question marks. Meanwhile, when the Devils have been good this season, they've run the ball consistently. Demario Richard has been especially productive in recent weeks, and Kallen Ballage brings an array of pass-catching and powerful run-game skills as well … If Arizona's defense is to slow down a resurgent ASU offense, it must force turnovers. That's easier said than done as the Devils are one of the nation's best as not turning over the football. However, the Cats are 15th nationally in takeaways, paced by the second-most interceptions from a relatively young secondary … These schools have been strong in red zone scoring and every point will matter this week. A defensive stand, a missed field goal, a fake – anything could be the difference in this rivalry … This big game typically presents the opportunity for an unheralded player to play a key role. Maybe that's someone buried on the depth chart or a spectacular special teams play, but it seems to happen every year … The home team has won each of the last four meetings in this series and the Wildcats have not won in Tempe since 2011. If Arizona flips that fortune, it would secure an 8-win season and cap one of the best turnarounds in school history … If ASU were to recapture the Cup, it would be five wins in seven games and propel the Devils up the bowl pecking order. And from that standpoint, these teams could very well be fighting for the same bowl invitations … An afternoon kick and unseasonably warm forecast offer up the perfect cure to your turkey coma. Come hungry for some football on Saturday.

The Territorial Cup: The Territorial Championship Cup was first presented to Tempe Normal School after its 11-2 victory over Arizona at Tucson's Carrillo Gardens field downtown on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 30, 1899. That makes it the oldest rivalry trophy game in America (Comparisons: Michigan-Minnesota/Little Brown Jug/1909; Indiana-Purdue/Old Oaken Bucket/1925). Carrillo Gardens was in a downtown park on a side street south of the current Tucson Convention Center in the Barrio Historico district. The Cup has been registered with the NCAA and thereby sanctions the game as the oldest trophy game. Early origins of the piece are unclear but the cup itself is silver-plated over base metal and was manufactured by Reed and Barton of Taunton, Mass., according to some reports, which also indicate a catalog price of $20. The lone inscription reads: "Arizona Foot Ball League 1899 Normal." The Cup's whereabouts for the next eight decades also remains unclear until its discovery among items found in the baseman of a church near ASU in the early 1980s and then displayed in various ASU collections. In 2001, then ASU President Lattie Coor led the move to have it again presented to the game winner. Over the years the Governor's Trophy (1953-1979) and a "Victory" sculpture by artist Ben Goo (1979-1997) were presented to the game's winner. The Saguaro Trophy, a bronze piece commissioned from artist Dora Perry in 1998, also has been in the mix, and now goes to the winning coach each year. The Bob Moran Most Outstanding Player in the game, named in 2008 after the late sportswriter who covered both teams, earns the Ben Goo sculpture for his school's hall of fame. The Cup on the sideline at the game itself is a replica, with the original piece requiring curator treatment for its hall of fame type display. The games themselves are not atypical of a state where the Territorial Legislature awarded one city (Phoenix) the initial economic prize, the state hospital, while the other town (Tucson) got the fledgling first state university. The games are competitive, territorial and a distinct matter of pride.

Series History: Arizona owns a 49-40-1 all-time lead in the series following last year's 56-35 victory in Tucson … The home team has won the last four meetings in this series, but previously the road team had won four straight Territorial Cups from 2009-12 … Since these schools jointly became Pac-10/12 members prior to the 1978 season, the Wildcats boast a 21-17-1 record against their rivals. That includes "The Streak" in which Arizona did not lose to ASU from 1982-90, a run that included eight wins and a tie … The Sun Devils own a 17-11-1 advantage playing at Sun Devil Stadium, with UA's last win coming in 2011 … ASU is 21-18-1 all-time when hosting the game in Tempe/Phoenix … The Wildcats' longest win streak in the series is 11 games (from 1932-48), while the Devils once had a nine-game win streak (1965-73) … This will be the sixth meeting between Todd Graham and Rich Rodriguez. The winning team has scored at least 41 points in the prior five matchups.

Last Meeting: Arizona took out a season's worth of frustration in a 56-35 victory over Arizona State last Nov. 25 in Tucson. The Wildcats racked up a then-school record 511 rushing yards while snapping their 8-game losing streak and denying the Devils a chance at bowl eligibility. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins ran 12 times for 183 yards and two scores, while completing 3-of-8 passes for 77 yards and another score to earn Bob Moran MVP honors. Dawkins did not need to attempt a pass in the second half because, in addition to his rushing tally, two other Wildcats went over the century mark. Samajie Grant carried 19 times for 176 yards and three touchdowns, his 63-yarder providing the final punch to give UA a three-touchdown lead midway through the fourth quarter. Zach Green added 126 yards and two scores on 14 carries for his first career 100-yard rushing game. Defensively, the Cats limited the Sun Devils to 3.2 yards per carry and made Manny Wilkins try to win it with his arm. Wilkins threw for 372 yards and two scores, but he was intercepted once, lost a fumble and was sacked twice. Arizona also held ASU to just 1-for-6 on fourth down tries in the game, while the Devils' nearly automatic kicker Zane Gonzales missed a 53-yard field goal try. The win improved the home team to a 4-0 mark in the last four meetings of this series.

Khalil's Opening sTATEment: A semifinalist for the prestigious Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards, sophomore quarterback Khalil Tate has made a national name for himself in less than two full months. Some consider the dual-threat talent a contender to be a Heisman finalist, and his résumé is quite impressive even if he didn't start building the resume until the first week in October. For those that don't know, Tate, coming in as a backup, was hurt in the opening game of the season against NAU. He played briefly against Houston week later, but was not near 100-percent healthy battling through a sprained throwing shoulder that eventually kept him out of games against UTEP and Utah. After a bye week closed out September, Tate was healthy enough to fully practice and was available to play at Colorado on Oct. 7. Arizona entered that contest with a 2-2 overall record and an 0-1 mark in conference play. The season, even at that early juncture, was firmly in the balance. On the opening possession of that game, starter Brandon Dawkins was hit late out of bounds and briefly shaken up. Tate was sent in and has never looked back. He set an FBS single-game rushing record for quarterbacks with 327 yards that evening in Boulder and went on to win four-straight Pac-12 Player of the Week honors.

Khalil Tate Leads the FBS in:

  • Total QBR according to ESPN.com
  • 10.6 yards per carry
  • Five 70+ yard runs (four of them TDs)
  • 321 yards vs. Colorado set new FBS single-game record for rushing by a quarterback and is highest total by any FBS player this season

The Big Plays

  • Averages 51.9 yards per touchdown run (11 touchdowns)
  • Averages 24.7 yards per passing touchdown (9 touchdowns)
  • Averages 39.7 yards per touchdown play (20 total touchdowns)
  • 82-yard run second-longest by an FBS quarterback this season

Khalil in the Rankings

  • No. 1 nationally with 10.6 average per carry
  • Leads FBS in total QBR (93.8)
  • No. 4 nationally with 147.2 rushing yards per game
  • No. 12 nationally with 1,325 rushing yards in only 9 games
  • No. 21 nationally averaging 8.3 yards per pass attempt

Other Notables

  • Semifinalist for the Walter Camp Player of the Year, Maxwell and Davey O'Brien Awards
  • First quarterback in Pac-10/12 history to top 1,000 rushing yards in a season
  • Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Week in four consecutive weeks (first time in league history)
  • Ranks No. 6 in Arizona single-season history with 1,325 rushing yards
  • First player in school history to post three 200-yard rushing games in a season

The Streak (Tate's Last Seven Games)
                              Rushing                                Passing                                 Total Offense
Opponent           Att-Yards-TD                      C-A-YDS-TD                        Plays-Yards-YD

at Colorado            14-327-4                               12-13-154-1                        27-481-5
UCLA                     15-230-2                               9-13-148-1                          28-378-3
at California           17-137-1                               10-15-166-2                        32-303-3
vs. Wash. St.         13-146-1                               10-17-743-2                        30-421-3
at USC                   26-161-1                               14-31-146-2                        57-307-3
vs. Oregon St.       16-206-2                                5-7-68-0                              23-274-2
at Oregon              14-32-0                                 18-35-159-1                         32-193-1               
Total                      115-1,239-11                         78-130-1,116-9                    229-2,357-20
Avg./Play               10.8 ypc                                8.6 ypp                                10.3 ypp
Avg./Game            177.0 ypg                             159.4 ypg                             336.7 ypg

Record-Chasing: As the regular season enters the closing stretch, Arizona's offense is in position to challenge two rather prominent records: scoring average and single-game rushing average. Through 11 games, Arizona is averaging 42.9 points per game (nearly 20 points better than the 24.8 average in 2016). The program record has long been held by Art Luppino & Co., who averaged 38.5 points in the 1954 season. Rich Rodriguez's first Arizona squad challenged that mark, posting a 38.2 clip in 2012. As far as the rushing average record, that 1954 squad that featured the Cactus Comet (Luppino) rolled up 276.5 yards per game on the ground. Currently, the Wildcats are averaging an astounding 331.6 yards per game. That means if the UA were to not rush for a single yard against ASU and the bowl opponent, it would still be averaging 280.6 yards per game – some four yards ahead of the current record average. So, barring negative net rushing yardage, things look good for a new school record in that category.

Team Rushing (per game average)           Team Scoring Average                   
1.            276.5     1954       1.            38.5        1954
2.            270.8     1973       2.            38.2        2012
3.            268.9     1953       3.            37.4        2014
4.            264.9     2013       4.            36.6        2008
5.            254.8     1952       5.            34.7        1998
Current: 331.6 yards per game  Current: 42.9 points per game

Arizona's Offense in the Rankings: Three-quarters of the way through the regular season, Arizona's offense statistically ranks as one of the best in the nation. Here's a look at where the Cats rank in the FBS and Pac-12 for select categories.
Category                                                  Stat            FBS           Pac-12
Scoring Per Game                                    42.9            6th            1st
Rushing Yards Per Game                         331.6          3rd            1st
Total Offense Per Game                           499.5          9th             1st
Sacks Allowed Per Game                         1.09            9th            1st
Offensive Plays of 40+ Yards                    27               t-1st         1st

Points, Points and More Points: Through 11 games this season, Arizona has scored 468 points. That's the highest total for the Wildcats through 11 games in program history. The 444 points are more than the Wildcats scored in a full season in 13 of the past 17 seasons. Since 1950, Arizona has scored more than 400 points in a season just six times. The Wildcats failed to eclipse the 300-point mark in 12 games last season, scoring 297 points in 12 games. The most points the Wildcats have scored in a season in school history is 496 in 2012.

Most Points Through 10 Games in Pac-10/12 era

Points Scored Year
468 2017
422 2014
414 2008
413 2012
394 2015

Where the Scoring Ranks Nationally: Arizona scored just 28 points Saturday against Oregon, ending a streak of six straight games scoring 35 or more points. It was the longest streak by any team in the country this season versus Power 5 competition. Arizona also scored 45 or more points in four straight games earlier this season for the first time in program history. Even with the 28-point performance in Eugene, Arizona ranks sixth in the country in scoring at 42.9 points per game. The Wildcats are also fifth in the nation with 62 touchdowns scored. Arizona is one of just six teams in the country to have 60 or more touchdowns on the year.

Top Scoring Teams in the Country

School Games Points Points Per Game
UCF 10 482 48.2
Oklahoma St. 11 497 45.2
Ohio State 11 494 44.9
Memphis 10 447 44.7
Oklahoma 11 484 44.0
Arizona 11 472 42.9

Teams With 60 or More Touchdowns This Season

School Number of Touchdowns
UCF 65
Ohio State 65
Oklahoma 64
Oklahoma State 64
Arizona 62
Memphis 60

More Like it: Prior to last season, Arizona had scored at least 435 points in every season under coach Rich Rodriguez. However, Arizona mustered just 297 points last year, and now find them with the fifth-most points in the country this season behind Oklahoma State, Ohio State, Oklahoma and UCF. Arizona's 18.1 point improvement from last year is the second-best improvement, behind UCF's 19.4 point differential.

Team 2016 2017 Diff.
UCF 28.8 48.2 19.4
Arizona 24.8 42.9 18.1
Wake Forest 20.4 34.6 14.2
Ohio 26.3 40.3 14.0
Louisiana-Monroe 23.3 34.7 11.4

In a Rush: Through 11 games, Arizona is third nationally in rushing offense, averaging 331.6 yards per game. The Wildcats are behind traditional option teams Navy and Army. Perhaps more impressively, Arizona is averaging 7.03 yards per carry, which is the highest total in the country. Arizona is the only team in the country averaging more than seven yards per rush. The FBS record for rushing yards per carry for a season is 7.6 set by Army in 1945.
A New Standard: Arizona has 3,648 rushing yards, which is a new program record for rushing yards in a season. The previous mark was 3,444 set in 2013 when Ka'Deem Carey led the nation in rushing with 1,929 yards. The 2013 season is the only other time the Wildcats have rushed for more than 3,000 yards. Arizona's 44 rushing touchdowns are also a new school record, besting the previous high of 36, also set in 2013.

Highest Yard Per Carry

School Rushes Rushing Yards Yards Per Carry
Arizona 519 3,648 7.03
Notre Dame 482 3,195 6.63
Louisville 413 2,762 6.42
Stanford 370 2,373 6.41
Army 649 4,049 6.24

Most Rushing Touchdowns in the Country
1. Arizona: 44
2. Army: 43
3. Florida Atlantic: 42
4. Ohio: 38
5. Notre Dame: 35
5. Alabama: 35

Most Rushing Touchdowns by Arizona in Pac-10/12 Era

Rushing TDs Year Total Rushing Yards
44 2017 (through 10 games) 3,648
36 2014 3,444
34 1998 2,567
33 2008 2,059
33 2012 2,961

You Get a Touchdown, and You Get a Touchdown: Arizona has had 10 different players score at least one rushing touchdown this season, which is a new program record. The previous high was nine in 1990. Wide receiver Tony Ellison became the 10th Arizona player to score on a rushing touchdown when he scored on a 27-yard reverse in the second quarter against Oregon State. Khalil Tate leads the way with 11 rushing touchdowns this season. The others who have scored: Zach Green (10 TDs), Brandon Dawkins (seven), J.J. Taylor and Nick Wilson (four), Nathan Tilford (two), Tyrell Johnson (one), Brandon Leon (one) and Rhett Rodriguez (one). The Wildcats are the only team in the country who have 10 players with at least one rushing score.

Most Players with a Rushing Touchdown
1. Arizona: 10
2. Central Florida: 9
2. Navy: 9
3. Five Schools Tied at 8

Green Means Go: Redshirt senior Zach Green had 14 carries for 124 yards his first two seasons at Arizona, which totaled 19 games. In his past 21 games for the Wildcats, Green has more rush attempts –138—then he had yards in his first 19 games. Green has rushed for 682 yards on 138 carries since the start of his junior season. Green set career highs in the final game of last season when he rushed for 126 yards on 14 carries against Arizona State. He topped that this season against Cal. Green ran for 130 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries to establish new career highs in yards gained and carries. Green has 300 yards on 61 carries, which is an average yard per gain of 4.9. Green had a one-yard touchdown run Saturday against Washington State for his sixth rushing touchdown of the season and then a three-yard touchdown at USC in the fourth quarter. The senior running back had two touchdowns Saturday against Oregon State on four carries. Green scored again against Oregon on a two-yard plunge. Green's 10 touchdown rushes this season are the most by an Arizona running back and second overall to Khalil Tate.

Most Rushing Touchdowns in a Single Season

Touchdowns Player Year
23 Ka'Deem Carey 2012
21 Art Luppino 1954
19 Ka'Deem Carey 2013
16 Kelvin Eafon 1998
16 Nick Wilson 2014
13 B.J. Denker (QB) 2013
13 Nic Grigsby 2008
11 Khalil Tate (QB) 2017
11 Trung Canidate 1999
10 Zach Green 2017
10 Brandon Dawkins (QB) 2016
10 Keola Antolin 2008
10 Clarence Farmer 2001
10 Trung Canidate 1998
10 Vance Johnson 1983
10 Jim Upchurch 1973

School-er Zone: True freshman linebacker Colin Schooler has six tackles-for-loss over the past two games and has 11 ½ for the season. Schooler leads all FBS freshmen in tackles-for-loss with his 11 ½. No other freshman has more than 10. Against Oregon, Schooler had 12 tackles to lead the team and three tackles-for-loss for the second straight game. Against Oregon State, Schooler had six tackles, three tackles-for-loss, two sacks and one pass breakup. For the season, Schooler has 75 tackles, 11 ½ tackles-for-loss, three sacks, two interceptions and a forced fumble on the season. Schooler returned an interception 66 yards for a touchdown earlier this season against Washington State. The 66-yard return was Arizona's longest interception return for a touchdown since Will Parks had a 69-yard return in the 2013 Advocare V100 Bowl versus Boston College. Schooler had seven tackles in Arizona's three nonconference games. In eight Pac-12 games, Schooler has 68 tackles, 10 ½ tackles-for-loss and one interception. His 11 ½ tackles-for-loss on the season rank sixth in the Pac-12 overall.

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