Star Exclusive:

Arizona sputters, struggles in Territorial Cup loss

2013-12-01T00:00:00Z 2013-12-02T10:08:18Z Arizona sputters, struggles in Territorial Cup lossBy Daniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

TEMPE — Ka’Deem Carey sat on a makeshift table on the UA sideline with his uniform as green as it has been all season.

Inches in front of him, B.J. Denker sat with his elbows on his thighs.

Their heads were exactly where no Arizona Wildcats fan or coach wanted them to be — down.

The Territorial Cup will remain empty for the UA for another season.

Arizona State raced out to a 23-point halftime lead Saturday and cashed it into a 58-21 win in front of 72,542 fans at Sun Devil Stadium.

A week after shocking No. 5 Oregon at Arizona Stadium, Arizona sputtered and struggled against its in-state rival.

“They played well. We played poorly. We coached poorly,” UA coach Rich Rodriguez said. “We can’t play poor and win — I’ve said that a lot this year. We didn’t have a very good game tonight. It was embarrassing. I’m not embarrassed of my players, I’m not embarrassed to be the coach; I’m embarrassed because we didn’t play our best game. I wish we would have.”

Arizona finishes the regular season with a 7-5 overall record and a 4-5 Pac-12 mark. Arizona State (10-2, 8-1) will host Stanford in the Pac-12 championship game Saturday.

The Wildcats will wait a week to hear their bowl fate. A return trip to Albuquerque for the New Mexico Bowl is a possibility. A trip to Shreveport, La., for the AdvoCare V100 Bowl or Dallas for the Heart of Dallas Bowl are also possibilities.

Rodriguez and the Wildcats won’t know for sure until matchups are announced Dec. 8. But for the next six days — and an entire offseason — they will stew over a second straight loss to the Sun Devils.

Arizona State wasted no time jumping on the Wildcats.

The Sun Devils hit a pair of field goals on their first two drives to go up 6-0. The UA then had a drive stall after Chris Young sacked Denker on third-and-nine.

ASU then marched 80 yards on seven plays and capped it off with a 38-yard touchdown pass from Taylor Kelly to Darwin Rogers to make it 13-0.

The onslaught was just beginning.

After Carey was thrown for a loss of 7 yards on fourth-and-one, Arizona State quickly went 53 yards on just four plays and finished it with a 14-yard score from D.J. Foster early in the second quarter.

Foster, a sophomore from Scottsdale’s Saguaro High School, started for ASU with Marion Grice out with a leg injury.

Later in the quarter, Denker was intercepted by Alden Darby and ASU turned that turnover into a 1-yard score from De’Marieya Nelson.

The scoreboard read Arizona State 27, Arizona 0 — and a long night was ahead.

Denker was eventually intercepted two more times, including once by Damarious Randall, who returned it 64 yards for a touchdown.

“This one sucked,” Denker said. “It stings.”

Arizona twice cut the deficit to 16 points, but the Sun Devils had an answer each time.

The Sun Devils eventually stretched their lead to 51-21 after Foster scored on a 7-yard rush.

Following that, Denker was picked off for a third time, a first in his Arizona career.

Carey was the first player off the field following that miscue and sat himself on top of a blue equipment storage chest and waved off any teammate, trainer or coach who came his way.

The junior running back managed to rush for 157 yards and a touchdown on 32 carries. It marked the 15th straight game the Canyon del Oro High School product went over 100 yards. He also surpassed the 4,000-yard mark for his career and passed Washington’s Chris Polk for ninth on the Pac-12’s career all-time rushing list.

But he’d certainly trade all of that for a win against his in-state rival.

The 37-point loss was the UA’s most lopsided in the series since a 56-14 loss in 1996 at Arizona Stadium. Rodriguez fell to 0-2 in the annual rivalry game after he saw his team get outscored 24-7 in the fourth quarter of last year’s Territorial Cup game.

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Most Popular

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...

HDS Inc. NOW HIRING

Hiring event December 10th at our office.  We will be hiring f…