Saturday, November 24, 2012
Final: Arizona State 41, Arizona 34
By Kevin Gemmell
It was a tough night for Arizona quarterback Matt Scott. And the Arizona State Sun Devils made him pay for each and every mistake.
ASU intercepted Scott three times and forced a fumble from the signal-caller. All four turnovers were converted into touchdowns as the visiting Sun Devils erased a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit to top the rival Wildcats 41-34 in the Territorial Cup.
Marion Grice rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns to lead a Sun Devils attack that stalled at times -- but used the momentum of the turnovers to outdistance the Wildcats.
They also blocked a punt in the fourth quarter deep in Arizona territory that Cameron Marshall turned into a touchdown on the next play. The fourth turnover -- an interception from Robert Nelson -- was returned 66 yards to the Arizona 2-yard line late in the fourth. Michael Eubank took a quarterback sneak in from a yard out to give the Sun Devils (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) a 41-27 advantage with less than three minutes left in the game.
No. 24 Arizona (7-5, 4-5), however, didn’t go away quietly -- not surprising since the last three meetings between the schools have come down to the final play. It took just 57 seconds for the Wildcats to get a quick score -- a 17-yard pass from Scott to David Richards with 1 minute, 54 seconds to play.
But Arizona failed to recover the onside kick and Sun Devils were able to run out the clock.
Arizona running back Ka’Deem Carey, the nation’s leading rusher, carried 25 times for 172 yards and a score. He did, however, miss a few series with an undisclosed upper-body injury -- but did return later in the game.
Though Scott finished with three touchdowns, the three interceptions and the fumble were killers. ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly was far more protective of the ball, completing 16 of 29 throws for 191 yards with no touchdowns -- but also no interceptions.
The victory moves Arizona State in front of the Wildcats in the final Pac-12 South standings and likely means a higher-profile bowl game for ASU.