The Territorial Cup and all its accompanying bragging rights is more than enough for Arizona to play for in Saturday’s season finale, but there are plenty of other accomplishments within reach for the Wildcats and select players.
Here’s a rundown of some of the superlatives that can be established during the final game of the 2021 season:
Wide receiver Stanley Berryhill III is second in the Pac-12 in receptions, with 73, which also ranks in a tie for 16th nationally. His tally is already tied for the ninth-most by a UA player in one season, most since Cayleb Jones had 73 in 2014, and another seven against ASU will make him the sixth player in school history to reach 80 catches.
Berryhill, who has another year of eligibility left but could forego that for a shot an NFL career, has 129 receptions for his career. That’s good for 13th place in school history.
Best UA punter ever?
Other than Berryhill, Arizona’s best shot at a first-team all-conference selection this season is punter Kyle Ostendorp, who is averaging 48.5 yards per kick this season. The school record is 47.5, set by Danny Baugher in 2005, while the best average for a punter with at least 40 kicks—Ostendorp has 57—is 46.1 by Drew Riggelman in 2014.
Ostendorp, a third-year sophomore from Phoenix’s Desert Vista High School, has 28 punts of at least 50 yards and a long of 71. Assuming he doesn’t shank any in Tempe he’ll have his name atop the school list.
Michael Wiley has scored touchdowns in four consecutive games, the first UA player to do that since 2018, and leads the Wildcats with five TDs this season. Only two of those have come as a running back, his natural position, while he’s had receiving scores in the past two games.
For the season Wiley has 30 receptions, tied with BJ Casteel for second-most on the team. Another three catches against ASU will give him the most by a UA running back since Ka’Deem Carey had 36 in 2012.
No fly zone
It may not seem that way of late, but Arizona has one of the best pass defenses in the country in terms of yards allowed per game. The Wildcats have yielded 199.5 through the air per contest, and if that average holds it will be the first time since 2008 that the UA held its opponents to below 200 yards for the season.
The UA has held three foes below 100 passing yards in 2021. Only three other schools have done so more times, with Washington leading the way at five (Arizona was one of those, throwing for only 57 yards vs. the Huskies in a 21-16 home loss in October).
ASU is 10th in the Pac-12 in passing, at 207.7 yards per game, with Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels only topping the 200-yard mark five times but not since Oct. 30.
Strong overall defense
The UA’s defense, under the guidance of soon-to-be-departing coordinator Don Brown, is sixth in the Pac-12 in yards allowed per game at 376.2. The Wildcats haven’t finished the year better than eighth in total defense since 2010, which was the last year they allowed less than 400 yards per game.
In order to remain below that mark, the UA just has to give up fewer than 662 yards. ASU, which averages 410 per game, hasn’t gone over 500 yards in a game in more than two years and last topped the 600-yard mark in 2016.
Arizona last yielded 600-plus at Washington State in 2018, while the school record for most yards allowed is 701 against ASU back in 1973.