A lot of crazy things have happened in the fights for Territorial Cup, but what’s the most memorable moment of them all?
Our staff shared their opinions. Leave yours in the comment section below!
Alec Sills-Trausch: November 28, 2014. You all know what game I’m talking about. With an appearance in the Pac-12 championship on the line, the 2014 Territorial Cup was arguably the best/most anticipated game Arizona has played this decade. UA scored a defensive touchdown less than a minute into the game and never trailed after that — though I don’t think anyone’s heart rate was in the normal range until Sunday.
For me personally, getting to experience the elation of the game and to rush the field with 10,000+ fanatics will be a day that will forever stay with me — and I know it’s likely the same with all of you.
Christopher Boan: Mine, like Alec, was when Arizona beat the school up north in a whirling dervish of a game in 2014. The game, which was the first I attended in-person (I grew up in MD, where the damn thing normally came on at 10 p.m. on Comcast Sports Net or some crap), and it was everything I ever imagined.
It had everything—lots of fans yelling at each other, scorching-hot weather — that made me feel like I was about to melt into the metal bleachers, and a hell of a football game to boot. It was the first (and last) time I’ve ever stormed the field at Arizona Stadium, joining Alec and oh, so many others in a fracas at midfield, getting to touch the Territorial Cup trophy at one point.
The sheer energy and excitement surrounding Arizona’s first ever Pac-12 South title was insane, and unlike anything else I’ve ever experienced to this day. It was the best in-game atmosphere I’ve ever experienced, ahead of the infamous USC-Virginia Tech thriller I went to with my parents as a 12-year-old in the early 2000s. It was, quite simply, the game that broke Todd Graham’s rickshaw of a program and exposed it for all its flaws. It was awesome.
Ryan Kelapire: My memories are from the early 2000s on, but the 2014 game definitely stands out since it won Arizona the Pac-12 South and rushing the field is always fun. Plus, it was an enthralling game.
But an underrated game was the 2008 matchup when Arizona blasted the Sun Devils, 31-10. Arizona had lost three straight to ASU, but finally took down Rudy Carpenter and company to clinch seven wins to reach a bowl game for the first time since 1998. That game truly got UA out of the abyss known as the John Mackovic years.
Also, Rob Gronkowski was unreal that day, shedding ASU defenders like they were rag dolls and little did we know that that would be his penultimate game in an Arizona uniform.
Ronnie Stoffle: The 2014 matchup was certainly an awesome memory given the high stakes. It’s always great when Arizona wins to cap off a strong season but I think it’s fun when the UA beats ASU during a miserable season.
The games like 2011 and 2016 when Arizona entered the contest with only two wins but still won feels amazing when it comes to bragging rights. I understand the goal of the season is to win as much as possible and that trumps all else when it comes to bragging rights. However, going into a game with only two wins while basically playing the role of a doormat for the rest of the conference all year and finding a way to win that game is a really fun feeling.
ASU fans are hard-pressed to find a legitimate reason to justify a loss to the worst team in the conference.
Gabe Encinas: Man the 2014 game was incredible, and Scooby Wright’s strip sack leading to Anthony Lopez’ scoop and score was probably the loudest I had ever heard Arizona Stadium. That has to be my favorite memory.
But don’t let that distract you from the fact that Arizona beat Arizona State 56-35 without attempting a single pass in the second half and broke the single-game rushing record with 511 yards last season.
Brandon Combs: Broken record but that 2014 is tops. It was just an amazing and whirlwind of a game. Plus, UA was crowned Pac-12 South Champs. How awesome is that?
But let’s not forget 2016. That was probably the most dominant UA has looked against ASU that I can remember. They knew Arizona was going to run, but it didn’t matter. And that is how I imagine Samajie Grant looked like as a running back in high school. The feel good story was Zach Green destroying ASU’s defense as well, which was just awesome. And to send off the seniors in that way after a horrible season helped ease the pain of everything that happened throughout the year.