No Pity for the Kitty: Sun Devils veterans understand weight of Territorial Cup

Nov 24, 2023, 1:39 PM

Jalin Conyers...

Tight end Jalin Conyers #12 of the Arizona State Sun Devils runs with the football against the Arizona Wildcats on November 25, 2022 in Tucson, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

TEMPE — The Territorial Cup, college football’s oldest and most sacred rivalry trophy.

A melee filled with passion, sweat and intensiveness.

One game between the Arizona State Sun Devils (3-8) and No. 16 Arizona Wildcats (8-3) to determine who gets to display the trophy with honor.

Saturday marks one year since the Sun Devils dropped their first Territorial Cup matchup to the Wildcats in six years. It capped off one of the worst seasons (3-9) in Arizona State history.

The memory of Wildcat fans storming Arizona Stadium in Tucson does not bode well has stuck with the Sun Devil players in 2023. Needless to say, the Sun Devils are out for blood.

“You’ve got guys staying in the building late last night watching film, really just paying attention to detail,” Arizona State defensive back Jordan Clark said on Tuesday. “There’s a lot of emotion there … guys are preparing and are going to be ready on Saturday.”

Saturday’s rivalry matchup between the Arizona State Sun Devils and the Arizona Wildcats marks the 97th edition of the Territorial Cup. Arizona leads the all-time series 50-45-1.

Arizona State veterans this week have been emphasizing the importance of the game to the younger players. Head coach Kenny Dillingham showed the team a video on Monday, outlining the significance of the rivalry itself.

“It’s my third year here. It turned into a ‘I don’t really know much about UofA’ to ‘I really don’t like those guys’ to ‘I really don’t, I hate them,'” Arizona State tight end Jalin Conyers said with a smirk. “It means a lot to me. I’m especially excited to get out there and play in front of our home crowd.”

It’s been a flipped script for the two teams since Arizona State’s 70-7 massacre over Arizona in 2020. Just two years ago, the Sun Devils finished 8-4 and went to a bowl game. The Wildcats finished 1-11, their only win coming against a COVID-depleted Cal team that snapped a 20-game losing streak dating back to 2019.

Now, the Wildcats are 8-3 and have clinched a bowl-game berth. Arizona has turned into one of the hottest teams in college football, taking down numerous ranked teams to propel itself to No. 16 in the country.

The Wildcats have a chance to can pull off the ultimate stunner.

Arizona will be watching the No. 15 Oregon State versus No. 6 Oregon matchup closely on Friday evening. An OSU victory would give the Wildcats a chance at the Pac-12 Championship Game.

All they would need to do is beat Arizona State on Saturday.

No matter the outcome of the Oregon schools’ matchup, the Sun Devils have a singular focus.

“They’ve done a great job. Got to give credit where credit is due,” Conyers said of Arizona. “They’re one of those teams that no one really cared about at the beginning of the season … I give them credit but we don’t really care about that.

“I think it’s going to be one of the chirpiest and most passionate games a lot of us have ever been in … This is is our bowl game.”


Comment guidelines: No name-calling, personal attacks, profanity, or insults. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate comments by reporting abuse.
comments powered by Disqus

Arizona State Football

Four-star wide receiver recruit Adrian Wilson, from Weiss High School in Texas, announced a commitm...

David Veenstra

Arizona State football nabs commitment from 4-star WR recruit Adrian Wilson

Four-star wide receiver recruit Adrian Wilson from Weiss High School in Texas announced a commitment to the Arizona State Sun Devils on Friday.

11 hours ago

Arizona State wide receiver Elijhah Badger during a game against Fresno State in Tempe, Arizona on ...

David Veenstra

Arizona State wide receiver Elijhah Badger, tight end Bryce Pierre enter transfer portal

Arizona State leading receiver Elijhah Badger has entered the transfer portal. Tight end Bryce Pierre will also enter the portal.

14 hours ago

Arizona State football coach Herm Edwards...

Kevin Zimmerman

NCAA levies penalties, partially rules on Arizona State recruiting violations under Herm Edwards

The NCAA levied penalties for recruiting violations by Arizona State program, which was found to have broken rules under Herm Edwards.

21 hours ago

Kenny Dillingham, Arizona State head coach...

Vincent DeAngelis

Arizona State football managing loads with spring game approaching

As Arizona State football enters the final week of its spring session, the Sun Devils look to be ramping up at just the right time.

22 hours ago

Sam Leavitt, ASU QB...

Damon Allred

Sam Leavitt to be named Arizona State starting quarterback, Jaden Rashada to enter transfer portal

Jaden Rashada is expected to leave Arizona State, as Sam Leavitt is expected to be named the starting quarterback.

2 days ago

Kamari Lands, latest Sun Devil to enter transfer portal following 2023-24 season....

Bailey Leasure

Kamari Lands marks latest Sun Devil to enter transfer portal

Sophomore Kamari Lands, latest Sun Devil to enter transfer portal as ASU continues rebuild headed into 2024-25 season.

3 days ago

No Pity for the Kitty: Sun Devils veterans understand weight of Territorial Cup