The battle for the Territorial Cup is just days away, but for the Sun Devils and the Wildcats, this year’s game comes with more than just bragging rights.
For the University of Arizona, the rivalry game gives them a chance to build upon last week’s upset over Utah, which as their sixth win made them bowl eligible.
“(It’s) a definite victory for U of A that they’re in the bowl hunt now. They’re bowl eligible so they’re wanting to add to that,” former Arizona State quarterback Jake Plummer told Bickley and Marotta on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM on Tuesday.
Despite being 6-5, the Wildcats are just 3-5 in conference play which puts them in sixth place in the Pac-12 South standings–behind ASU.
Plummer said that because of the inconsistency and the injuries that they’ve dealt with, Arizona is an interesting team, but one that can be difficult to stop when they’re able to execute offensively.
“When they’re running well and doing their offensive thing down there at U of A, they’re hard to stop,” Plummer said, adding that it will be an interesting test for the Sun Devil defense. “They’re going to have to get after them and I think that it’s going to be a good match-up with the way ASU’s defense flies around.”
For the Sun Devils, this game has even more on the line. At 5-5, ASU is still on the pursuit of becoming bowl eligible for the fourth-straight season.
Plummer thinks that this could be the game for them to do that.
“I think if the Sun Devils really want to, they can pound U of A on the ground and give them all sorts of Ballage and Richard and let them try to stop those two dudes and then work in some play-action – let Berco run around a little bit and get DJ involved and go out in style; have some fun and take care of the Wildcats,” Plummer said.
In addition to the opportunity to become bowl eligible, Saturday’s game marks Senior Night and the last home game of the season.
“This game always holds a lot of weight regardless of any record or anything – what happened last week or a year ago. Everybody’s focused on this one and making sure that as a senior, you want to leave with a victory. So I think ASU will be highly motivated to get it done,” Plummer said.