The Arizona Wildcats lost to Arizona State 38-15 Saturday in Tempe. Here are some pertinent notes, quotes and statistics from the UA’s season-ending setback:
Arizona suffered its third consecutive defeat this season and its fifth straight loss in the annual Territorial Cup matchup — the longest streak in the series since Arizona won five in a row from 1982-86. Only one of those games vs. ASU was decided by fewer than 10 points (41-40 in 2018). The Wildcats last claimed the Cup in 2016.
Arizona still leads the Territorial Cup series 49-45-1. ASU leads the series 24-18-1 in games played in Tempe/Phoenix. ASU has won nine of the past 12 meetings and 17 of the past 26.
ASU has outscored Arizona 215-106 during the five-game winning streak. Over the last three Territorial Cups, Arizona is averaging 12.0 points. In the previous five, the Wildcats averaged 41.
Herm Edwards became the first ASU coach to win his first four games against Arizona. The Sun Devils finished with their best regular-season record (8-4) since 2014 (9-3).
ASU had just 86 yards passing, becoming the fourth team to have less than 100 against Arizona this season. The Wildcats went 1-3 in those games. Arizona finished the season allowing an average of 190.1 yards per game through the air, marking the first time the Wildcats have allowed under 200 since 2008.
ASU rushed for 228 yards, becoming the second consecutive opponent to top 200 against the Wildcats and the third in the past five games.
Arizona outgained ASU 396-314. Arizona outgained the opposition five times this season. The Wildcats lost four of those games (BYU, NAU, Oregon, ASU) and won one (Cal).
Arizona was flagged 12 times for 96 yards. It was the second straight time and the fifth time this season that the Wildcats have committed 10 or more penalties.
UA quarterback Will Plummer passed for a career-high 346 yards. His 28 completions also established a personal best. Plummer’s 346 passing yards are the most ever by an Arizona quarterback in the Territorial Cup and the sixth most in the history of the rivalry game.
Tyler Loop became the first player in UA history to convert his first 10 career field-goal attempts. Loop, a second-year freshman, has made 12 consecutive field goals to start his Arizona career.
UA receiver Stanley Berryhill III led the team with 10 receptions for a career-high 104. He finished the season with 83 catches, tied for third most in a single season at Arizona. He is just the sixth player in program history to notch 80-plus receptions in a single year. Berryhill has 139 career receptions, placing him 11th on the Wildcats’ all-time leaderboard.
With a 5-yard touchdown catch in the third quarter, tailback Michael Wiley extended his scoring streak to five games. He is the first Wildcat with a touchdown in five straight games since Shawn Poindexter in 2018.
ASU cornerback Jack Jones became the second defensive player ever to earn the Bob Moran Award as the game’s MVP. Jones had six tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and an interception that he returned 87 yards for a touchdown. It was ASU’s fourth pick-six against Arizona since 2013.
UA coach Jedd Fisch on the postgame locker room and the coming offseason: “There’s a lot of crying. There’s a lot of sad people that want to be a part of it next year and can’t be because their time has run out. And then there’s a lot of people that have a different look about them knowing that this offseason will not be easy. It will be hard in order to change losses to wins. It’s about commitment. It’s about dedication. It’s about loyalty. It’s about trust. Those four words will be discussed often in our building.”
Fisch on going 1-11 in his first season: “The key is. how you do bounce back? We’ve been in a rut here the last few years, and we’re turning it around. I am excited beyond belief for where our program is headed. There’s no question in my mind that we are going to become a very, very good football team over the course of time. We’re building this thing from the ground level. We had to lay our foundation.”
Fisch on Plummer’s fumble, which was recovered at the UA 1-yard line: “He’s so tough and he’s so physical. But at some point in time, you have to learn how to just say, hey, the down is the down, the down is over. Just tuck the ball away and take the sack and move on. The Sam linebacker beat us on the rush. We can’t fumble the ball away.”
Fisch on coaching in his first Territorial Cup game: “Cool environment. Rivalry games are great. Rivalry games is what makes college football so special. Rivalry games is what we all do this for. But it’s not going to be a great memory. The best memories are in the future. I can’t wait for what next year’s memory is going to feel like.”
Fisch on hiring a replacement for defensive coordinator Don Brown, who’s leaving to become the head coach at UMass: “I’d like to really dig deep into that here over the next 24-48 hours. ... With recruiting starting tomorrow, with the transfer portal being as active as it is, with the fact that you have an early signing period, which is going to be in 18 days, the earlier you get your staff, especially when you’re talking about coordinators, especially when you’re talking about a coordinator on the opposite side of the ball of the head coach ... the faster, the better. We’ll try to move quickly on that to be able to not just secure a class but have the best class that we’ve had here.“
UA senior LB Anthony Pandy on playing his last game: “It didn’t really hit me until after the game. I wasn’t thinking about it so much. I was just thinking about the game, trying to get the win. But after the game, when we walked in there as a team, it was my last time with them as a group. So it kind of hit me hard. Really hard.”
UA senior center Josh McCauley on his time as a Wildcat: “It’s been unbelievable. I’ve made so many connections, met so many great coaches, players. I’m gonna have those relationships for the rest of my life. It’s something I’ll always have with me. Being in Tucson, being at the U of A was one of the highlights of my life. It was the greatest thing ever. I’m glad I got to experience it.”
Edwards on ASU’s defense, which was missing several players because of injuries: “When you think about going into the last game of the season without (linebackers) (Darien) Butler and Merlin (Robertson) at linebacker and our two safeties were out ... I’m happy for all the guys that got an opportunity. For the most part, the defense did a nice job of not allowing them to score.”
ASU QB Jayden Daniels on his 48-yard TD run: “It was a broken play. Rachaad (White) ran the wrong route. I was trying to throw the ball to Ricky (Pearsall). I made someone miss. And from there, I got into the end zone. I was just playing football. I wasn’t going to let them tackle me. I had to go and score. We came out of halftime, and I told the defense that we were going to score. And we did.”
Arizona had 22 first downs; ASU had 16
Arizona had 50 net rushing yards and averaged 1.5 yards per attempt; ASU had 228 yards and averaged 6.2
Arizona averaged 5.4 yards per play; ASU averaged 6.2
Arizona and ASU combined for 22 penalties totaling 215 yards
Arizona possessed the ball for 35 minutes, 31 seconds; ASU had it for 24:29
Arizona’s average starting field position was its 22-yard line; ASU’s was its 33
Daniels rushed for 86 yards, passed for 86 and accounted for 3 touchdowns
White rushed for 98 yards, caught 3 passes for 31 yards and scored 1 TD
Pearsall had 5 catches for 52 yards and 2 TDs
Pandy and fellow LB Malik Reed each had 8 tackles
ASU cornerback Chase Lucas had 7 tackles, including 1 TFL