When they kick off Saturday in Tempe, Arizona and Arizona State will write the latest chapter in an in-state rivalry that dates back to 1899. That’s a lot of history.
We asked former ASU and UA players to tell us their most memorable Territorial Cup experience:
ASU CENTER SCOTT PETERS (1998-2001)
“We put a beating on the Wildcats (in 1999, a 42-27 ASU win) and left fans with a run-game ‘how to’ clinic. J.R. Redmond and our offensive line demoralized the U of A that afternoon, putting about 250 yards on them between the tackles. I will never forget the defeated look on the faces of their defense. It was a massacre. Somebody should have stopped it.”
— Paola Boivin, The Arizona Republic
ARIZONA QUARTERBACK KEITH SMITH (1996-1999)
“I didn’t know anything about the rivalry before 1995. I was redshirting, Tedy Bruschi’s senior year, and our defense was pretty loaded. Dan White was our QB, and we were good offensively, not great. Dan did an awesome job against Arizona State; I don’t think he ever lost to them. I remember vividly in that game, there was a play that changed the game — Coach told me some Wildcat was going to make a play, and it was either Chuck Osborne or Tedy sacked, fumble, scoop and scored the go-ahead to beat them. That was my first experience. I could not believe we came back and won a game we had no business winning. That was my whole introduction.
“Move into 1996, I’m now starting as a freshman, and Jake Plummer had ASU rolling pretty good. I think they were top-5, they handed it to us pretty good, and I remember the defense being pretty fast. They smashed us pretty good. I remember saying, we need to find a way to beat them, that rivalry was too intense.
“Then 1997 comes around and Ortege Jenkins and I are doing the system, and I think we went up 14-0, and I remember an excitement, being a part of trick plays and igniting the team.
“But the No. 1 thing for me would be, we talk about this with alumni, was Trung Canidate going off on ASU in 1998. That to me was one of the best rushing performances you’ll ever see. He couldn’t be stopped. He was seeing everything on the field. I remember going up to him during the game and saying you’re the best running back I’ve ever seen. He just looked at me, ‘Thanks, Keith.’ Whipping off 80 yard runs, I swear I’d never seen anything like that before.
“At that point, we won something like 50-42, we thought we were going to the Rose Bowl, and then UCLA lost to Miami — Edgerrin James went off — and that sent us to the Holiday Bowl. We had roses in our mouth. We thought we were going.”
— Jon Gold