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Territorial Cup features familiar foes in ASU’s Edwards, Arizona’s Sumlin

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For the first time in Territorial Cup history, Kevin Sumlin and Herm Edwards will square off on Saturday. But this is far from the beginning of the coaches’ relationship.

Two decades ago, Sumlin, Arizona’s current head coach, served as a coaching intern for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Edwards, now coaching Arizona State, was also on staff for the Bucs, working as the team’s defensive backs coach and assistant head coach.

“It was a great experience,” Sumlin said in his Monday press conference. “That’s where I first got to meet him.”

Their friendship didn’t end there.

When Sumlin coached at Texas A&M, he invited Edwards to speak to his team. One characteristic Sumlin admires about Edwards is his enthusiasm toward coaching.

“You guys have heard him speak; he’s energetic,” Sumlin said. “He’s his own guy. He’s a tremendous leader.”

Sitting at 5-6, Arizona needs a win against Arizona State to become bowl eligible. Edwards’ Sun Devils, on the other hand, have already clinched bowl eligibility with a 6-5 record.

Though there is much hatred between the schools, Sumlin respects what Edwards has done in first season coaching Arizona State.

“I think Coach (Edwards) has done a really good job with those guys down there,” Sumlin said. “They’re a very competitive football team.”

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