By the Numbers, 2016 Territorial Cup: Arizona explodes past ASU
Looking for ways to describe the absurdity of the 2016 Territorial Cup? The box score was a good place to start.
The statistics expressed the 56-35 victory by the Arizona Wildcats well enough. While Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Manny Wilkins completed 43-of-58 passes for 372 yards, three touchdowns and an interception to go with his 79 rushing yards, evidence of ASU success pretty much ended there.
Arizona’s rushing game dominated the Sun Devils, who on the year had struggled more defending the pass. But behind quarterback Brandon Dawkins, it was the Wildcats eating up yards on explosive plays that did ASU in Friday night in Tucson, Ariz.
Here’s a look at Arizona’s win, by the numbers.
Arizona went without a passing play in the second half.
The number of 100-yard rushers for the Wildcats. Dawkins had 183 yards on 12 carries (15.3 yards per carry), Samajie Grant added 19 for 176 (9.3 yards per carry) and Zach Green compiled 14 rushes for 136 yards (9 yards per carry).
Dawkins’ 71-yard touchdown jaunt 1:12 into the game gave Arizona its first lead in more than five games. The Wildcats’ last lead came on Oct. 8 in the second half of an eventual 36-23 loss to the Utah Utes.
ASU set a school record with its sixth consecutive loss.
The Wildcats set themselves apart and broke any momentum swings with eight explosive plays of 25 yards or more and six of 50 yards or more.
While Arizona only faced third down eight times, converting twice, the Sun Devils repeatedly found themselves in late-down territory. They went 11-for-20 on third downs and 1-for-6 on fourth down attempts, a sign yards were bit more difficult to come by in chunks. ASU won the time of possession 36 minutes to 24 minutes.
Arizona more than doubled its season average of 22 points per game, which was worst in the Pac-12.
Only three passes were completed by the Wildcats. Dawkins went 3-of-8 for 77 yards and a touchdown for a 9.6-yard average per pass. Sixty-four of those yards came on a pass play to Nate Phillips that gave UA a 21-7 lead.
A school-record 511 rushing yards by Arizona came with an average of 10.6 yards per carry. Seven of Arizona’s eight touchdowns came on the ground. By contrast, ASU mustered 120 rushing yards on 38 carries — backs Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage had just seven each — with a touchdown. They averaged 3.2 yards per carry.