This article was written by Wildcat Country host, ABC15’s Shane Dale.
The Arizona Wildcats (7-4, 5-3 Pac-12) will go for their 50th all-time victory over the Arizona State Sun Devils (6-5, 5-3) when they meet for the 91st time on the gridiron Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium.
UA will come into Tempe as a slight favorite, but the Wildcats are dealing with some injuries, and the home team has won four straight games in this rivalry.
Who gets the victory Saturday afternoon? Here are our picks.
Wildcat Country host Jeff Dean
The Wildcats have the better team and the better quarterback. ASU has been able to find a running game as of late, which is very disconcerting, especially considering how decimated Arizona is on the defensive line. However, I think there’s something special left in this Arizona team.
The Wildcats definitely have a lot more to play for than Arizona State does. I think Arizona’s heart is in this game a little bit more than Arizona State’s. The constant disrespect they’ve encountered throughout the year because they were picked to finished dead last in the conference will ring true this Saturday. Wildcats win in enemy territory.
Arizona 41, ASU 37
Wildcat Country host Shane Dale
Let’s just get to it: I’m picking the Sun Devils to win this game. If you’d like to keep reading, here are my reasons.
1. The home team has won each of the last four meetings. 2. The Sun Devils have a chip on their shoulder after last season’s embarrassment. 3. The Wildcats are banged up, especially on defense. 4. ASU is running the ball extremely well. 5. Manny Wilkins doesn’t make many mistakes. 6. Arizona has no answer for N’Keal Harry. 7. Arizona’s punting game is a wreck, and the Devils are very good at blocking punts. 8. Most importantly: The Ducks have provided a blueprint for how to contain Khalil Tate.
ASU 48, Arizona 31
Wildcat Country host Megan Coghlan
The only thing you can almost always predict about the unpredictable Territorial Cup each year is that is will be a ruthless fight. Arizona has had an unexpectedly good season and ASU will want to destroy Khalil Tate more than all the other Pac-12 teams have already tried.
The Sun Devils will take advantage of Arizona’s weakened defense and score big, only to fall short by a field goal.
Arizona 52, ASU 49
The Daily Blender host Eric Cohen
I understand the idea of throwing out the stats and records when it comes to a rivalry game like ASU-UA. No one, including Rich Rodrigue,z could’ve predicted last year’s zany 56-35 Arizona victory where they didn’t attempt a pass in the second half.
I know I’m biased as a UA alum, but I’m taking the Wildcats, as I don’t see the Sun Devils coming close to stopping Khalil Tate. I’ll predict 200-plus yards passing for the 2017 Wildcats “savior,” and while there will be calls from the ASU fans to ax Todd Graham, I’ll also predict that he gets another year to right the ship in Tempe.
Arizona 41, ASU 38