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Arizona vs. ASU: Predictions for the Duel in the Desert

Will the Wildcats finish the season above .500?

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

I think it's fair to say that no one really ever knows what's going to happen when the Arizona Wildcats and Arizona State Sun Devils meet on the football field each year.

But we're going to ignore that, and tell you how this game is going to go anyway. You can also let us know who you think wins with this week's Crowd's Line widget:

Gabe Encinas: This is tough. Both programs have the potential to be great, and both have severely underachieved. Although, Arizona seems to be hitting their stride here. A strong performance vs. USC, and then outlasting No. 10 Utah in double overtime, and the momentum is going Arizona's way.

ASU is was coming off a three-game skid before finally pulling away from Washington. But the offense with Mike Bercovici, and the defensive inconsistencies, without Jordan Simone who is now out for the year, and there's not a whole lot going for Arizona State. Their backs are against the wall for bowl eligibility now, so this could be very interesting.

Final Score: 38-34 Arizona

Alec Sills-Trausch: This is usually a toss up game because, just like in #Pac12AfterDark, nothing seems to go according to plan. With emotions running at unhealthy levels, and high school teammates playing against each other, this is truly the battle for Arizona supremacy.

At the beginning of the year, I gave the slightest of edges to ASU because, as Coach Todd Graham pointed out numerous times, they ‘were goin' to the ‘ship' (paraphrasing). Now that we're here, I have to side with U of A based off of how the seasons have actually shaped up. Not that Arizona's is any better, but I feel this team has shown the ability to harness its full potential and is coming off their biggest win of the season.

However, if Anu is ruled out due a concussion, then this prediction basically goes down the drain. Keep an eye out for the injury report.

With Anu starting at QB: Arizona 41 - Arizona State 34

Without Anu: Greg Byrne places a siege on Pac-12 Headquarters and demands Arizona receives a bye, moving the Territorial Cup game back to its rightful place after Thanksgiving.

David Potts: Maybe I'm a pessimist, but I don't like our chances. I don't like that the game is in Tempe, I don't like that Anu is hurt, and I don't like that our linebackers continue to get hurt. I also wonder if the team will relax a little bit now that they've secured bowl eligibility, and that worries me. For all those reasons, I'm going to say Arizona State 37, Arizona 31. As usual, I hope I'm wrong, and don't listen to me.

James Schlittenhart: I almost always have a gut feeling about the outcome of a game, but this time around I have zero inclination as to how this is going to play out. I know you throw stats out the window for rivalry games, but I need some piece of tangible evidence to base a prediction on. So I'm going to go with how Arizona has fared in games following a top 10 upset since Rich Rod's arrival.

2012: Win vs. No. 10 USC Trojans
Next Game: Lost to No. 25 UCLA Bruins, 10 - 66
2013: Win vs. No. 5 Oregon Ducks
Next Game: Lost to No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils, 21 - 58
2014: Win vs. No. 2 Oregon Ducks
Next Game: Lost to unranked USC Trojans, 26 - 28

Well, that's disappointing. But in the absence of a hunch, I'm resigned to trusting the stats. ASU - 41, Arizona - 31.

Ryan Kelapire: The last time I picked Arizona to win, they lost to Washington by 46 points. So I'm going to go with the reverse jinx and say ASU wins 38-31. In all seriousness though, I think ASU being at home will be the difference. Plus, we're not sure if Anu Solomon is playing or not. If Randall is forced to start, I can't see the Wildcats being able to move the ball as much as they'll need to. But hey, this is the Territorial Cup, no one has any idea what's going to happen.

Jason Bartel: So much pessimism in here for rivalry week. Arizona 38, ASU 34, because football.