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Tucson hosts the 84th Duel in the Desert

The 2010 college football regular season will come to an end in the state of Arizona this week as the bitter in- state rivals University of Arizona and Arizona State clash for the 84th duel in the desert.

The Territorial Cup is expected to be an offensive showcase between two of the nation’s top passing teams. Arizona is 9th overall with 314 passing yards per game, while Arizona State is not far behind, tallying 282 yards per game, which is good enough for 12th.

ASU may score more points for per game at 32.5 (UA is at 29.8), but they will have be using a QB who has yet to start a game this season.

ASU sophomore Brock Osweiler came in for an injured Steven Threet against UCLA and put on a passing show, throwing for 380 yards and 4 TDs. The quarterback from Montana has been named the starter for Thursday’s game by coach Dennis Erickson.

Osweiler, who will be making his second career start, will be looking to send the Wildcats to their fourth straight loss.

Arizona has dropped its last three games (at Stanford, vs. USC, at Oregon), but the Wildcats are still considered the favorites against the Sun Devils. Arizona leads the all- time series 46-36-1 and will look to top their Tempe rivals for the third straight year.

Arizona State will be looking for redemption after last year’s game brought heartbreak in Tempe, when a dropped punt destroyed any chance of a Sun Devil comeback in what was a 20-17 UA victory. The Wildcats were also able to handle ASU quite easily last time they met in Tucson, winning at home 31-10.

The last time ASU won the game was in 2007, when the Sun Devils beat the Wildcats 20-17 en route to a 9-2 record and an appearance in the Pacific Life Holiday Bowl.

At 5-6 the Sun Devils have a very slim chance to make it to a bowl game, as a win would give them the necessary six to be eligible. However, they’d need a waiver from the NCAA to make the postseason, as they have two wins against FCS schools. At 7-4 the Wildcats are already bowl eligible.

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