The 2015 edition of the Territorial Cup didn’t have the same stakes as the 2014 game, which determined the Pac-12 South title. But there was some drama. Because despite a 31-10 halftime lead for the Sun Devils, it was a one-possession game in the closing minutes before ASU used a pair of late defensive touchdowns to lock up a 52-37 win on Saturday in Tempe, Arizona.
ASU quarterback Mike Bercovici threw a pair of touchdowns and ran for another, completing 21 of 32 passes for 315 yards with an interception.
With Arizona quarterback Anu Solomon out for the game (concussion), the Wildcats shuffled between Jerrard Randall and Brandon Dawkins -- who took over in the second quarter. Dawkins finished with two touchdown passes and a last-minute touchdown run, but also two interceptions late in the game that were returned for touchdowns.
What the win means for the Sun Devils: Arizona State becomes the Pac-12’s ninth bowl-eligible team by virtue of picking up its sixth win of the season. The Sun Devils can strengthen their bowl standing with a win next week at Cal to close out the season. ASU has gone to a bowl game in every year under Todd Graham, who improved to 3-1 in Territorial Cup games.
What the loss means for the Wildcats: Well, at least they finally get their bye week. The Wildcats' regular season came to an end after a grinding 12 straight games. Things didn’t go as planned, obviously. Injuries had a lot to do with that. And closing the year with a loss to ASU won’t sit well. The good news is they do get a bowl game -- which means extra practice time for youngsters and some time to recover.
Game ball goes to: Arizona State wide receiver Devin Lucien, who turned in one of the strongest receiving performances in the Pac-12 this season. Lucien hauled in nine balls for 190 yards -- the second-highest total of receiving yards in the conference this season.
Play(s) of the game: With the Wildcats trailing by eight points inside of four minutes, ASU’s Kareem Orr picked off Dawkins and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown to extend ASU’s lead to 45-30 and squash Arizona’s hopes of a comeback. And for good measure, on the next possession, Lloyd Carrington returned a Dawkins pick 38 yards for a touchdown.