Arizona State quarterback Manny Wilkins hoists the Territorial Cup in front of the Sun Devils fan section after the Territorial Cup, Nov. 24, 2018, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson.

The Arizona Wildcats had the Territorial Cup in their grasp and gave it away.

Arizona State scored 20 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to beat Arizona 41-40 and keep the cup in Tempe.

Josh Pollack’s 45-yard field-goal attempt in the final seconds sailed wide right, securing the victory for the Sun Devils. Pollack had connected on field goals from 29, 23, 36 and 40 yards on the day prior to the miss.

Arizona finishes the season 5-7 overall, 4-5 in the Pac-12, and will not be going to a bowl game. ASU ends the regular season at 7-5, 5-4. The Sun Devils will learn their bowl destination a week from Sunday.

Arizona led 40-21 entering the fourth quarter. ASU trimmed its deficit to 40-24 on Brandon Ruiz’s 27-yard field goal with 13:05 remaining.

Arizona Wildcats place kicker Josh Pollack (30) watches his the game-sealing kick miss the uprights as Arizona State Sun Devils defensive back Chase Lucas (24) begins to celebrate during the fourth quarter of the University of Arizona Wildcats vs. Arizona State University Sun Devils in the Territorial Cup, Nov. 24, 2018, at Arizona Stadium in Tucson, Ariz. Arizona State rallied in the fourth quarter for a 41-40 win.

The Wildcats tried to bleed the clock but could only get one first down, before the Sun Devils got the ball back and went 80 yards in eight plays. Manny Wilkins capped the drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.

ASU went for two and made it as a scrambling Wilkins found Tommy Hudson alone in the left corner of the end zone.

On the next possession, Khalil Tate threw an interception that Aashari Crosswell returned to the UA 22. The defense limited ASU to a field goal, making it 40-35 with 3:33 remaining.

Tate and J.J. Taylor then fumbled an exchange, again giving the Sun Devils excellent field position at the UA 22-yard line. Eno Benjamin took it from there, racing into the end zone to give ASU its first lead of the day with just 3:08 left on the clock. The Sun Devils went for two in an effort to stretch the lead to a field goal, but Wilkins’ pass fell incomplete.

That gave Arizona a chance. The Wildcats advanced to the ASU 27, where Pollack would push the winning field-goal attempt wide right.

The Wildcats bottled up ASU's primary weapons for most of the afternoon, limiting receiver N'Keal Harry to 55 yards on four receptions and Benjamin to 3.8 yards per carry. But Benjamin found pay dirt three times while Wilkins found a way to navigate the Devils back into the game.

Wilkins finished with 265 yards and two total touchdowns — one through the air and one rushing. 

Tate had 282 yards and threw three touchdowns in the loss, but tossed a costly interception in the fourth quarter when he overthrew an open Shawn Poindexter. ASU kicked a field goal on the ensuing drive to make it a one-possession game.

Taylor, who entered the game as the Pac-12 leading rusher, had 144 yards on 28 carries, while Poindexter tied the UA single-season record for receiving touchdowns (11) with his 23-yard grab in the second quarter.

>> Read more postgame coverage, complete with stats and quotes, here: Arizona Wildcats' disappointing season ends with fourth-quarter meltdown to Sun Devils


Arizona wide receiver Shawn Poindexter (19) in the first half during an NCAA college football game against Arizona State, Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, in Tucson, Ariz. 

THIRD-QUARTER UPDATE:

The Arizona Wildcats are one quarter away from securing a bowl berth and taking back the Territorial Cup.

Arizona leads Arizona State 40-21 entering the fourth quarter of their game Saturday afternoon at Arizona Stadium.

Khalil Tate has thrown three touchdown passes, and Arizona has outgained ASU 446 yards to 280. J.J. Taylor has a game-high 117 rushing yards.

ASU forced Arizona to punt on the first possession of the half, but the Wildcats were able to flip the field. Dylan Klumph launched a 57-yard punt, and Troy Young tackled N’Keal Harry for a 5-yard loss, putting the ball at the ASU 8.

After a penalty pushed the Sun Devils back to the 4, PJ Johnson tackled Eno Benjamin in the end zone for a safety. That made it 24-14.

Taylor returned the free kick 66 yards to the ASU 25. But Arizona only could manage a field goal. Josh Pollack’s 40-yarder made it 27-14. It was Pollack’s fourth of the game, a career high.

The Sun Devils followed with a 65-yard TD drive. The big play: Manny Wilkins’ 38-yard pass to N’Keal Harry on third-and-3. The final play: Eno Benjamin’s 14-yard run. It was his second TD of the game.

Arizona immediately answered. A pair of Taylor runs gained 25 yards. Then Gary Brightwell darted around right end for a 35-yard touchdown. Blocks by Cody Creason and Bryce Wolma sealed the edge for Brightwell.

The Wildcats went for two for the second time to try to make it a 14-point game. They again failed, leaving the score at 33-21.

After another defensive stop, Arizona drove for another touchdown. Tate capped the 58-yard march with his third TD, a jump pass to Tony Ellison from 8 yards out.


Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin eased off the accelerator down the stretch, enabling Herm Edwards and ASU to rally.

HALFTIME UPDATE:

Needing a win to earn a bowl berth, the Arizona Wildcats lead rival Arizona State 22-14 at halftime of their game Saturday afternoon at Arizona Stadium.

Khalil Tate has a pair of touchdown passes, and Arizona has compiled 308 yards of offense.

Tate is 12 of 16 for 197 yards. ASU’s Manny Wilkins is 8 of 13 for 121 yards and one TD. Arizona’s J.J. Taylor has 81 yards on 12 carries.

Holding a 13-7 lead in the second quarter, Arizona forced a three-and-out and marched 70 yards for a touchdown. Tate capped the drive with a 23-yard pass to 6-foot-5 Shawn Poindexter, who reached over 5-10 Kobe Williams in the right corner of the end zone. The TD receptions was Poindexter’s 11th of the season, tying the school record. The Wildcats went for two but could not convert.

ASU answered with a 75-yard TD drive. It featured an 18-yard pass from Wilkins to Kyle Williams on third-and-10 and concluded with Eno Benjamin’s 10-yard run. Benjamin overpowered Troy Young en route to the end zone.

The UA defense has held Benjamin, the Pac-12’s leading rusher, to 27 yards on 12 carries.

Arizona was able to add a field goal at the end of the half thanks to a 26-yard pass from Tate to Shun Brown and a late-hit penalty on the Sun Devils. Josh Pollack’s third field goal of the game, from 36 yards, bumped the lead to eight points.

Arizona led by three entering the second quarter and expanded its advantage to 13-7 on Pollack’s second field goal, a 23-yarder. The Wildcats had great field position, starting at the ASU 26-yard line, but their drive stalled at the 4. Back-to-back rushes by Gary Brightwell netted zero yards, leading to the field goal.


FIRST-QUARTER UPDATE:

The Arizona Wildcats lead Arizona State 10-7 entering the second quarter of their annual Territorial Cup matchup Saturday afternoon at Arizona Stadium.

UA quarterback Khalil Tate is 8 of 11 for 130 yards and a touchdown. J.J. Taylor has 52 yards on nine attempts. ASU quarterback Manny Wilkins is 4 of 6 for 80 yards and one TD.

Arizona stopped ASU near midfield on the game’s opening possession. The Wildcats took over at their 4-yard line and advanced 86 yards, the drive ending with a 29-yard Josh Pollack field goal.

Tate hit Shawn Poindexter for 47 yards to put Arizona in scoring range. Tate’s pass to Cedric Peterson in the end zone on third-and-6 fell incomplete.

The defense stopped ASU again on its next possession. Senior defensive tackle Dereck Boles penetrated the backfield on consecutive plays, forcing a tackle for loss and an incomplete pass.

Arizona needed just six plays to make it 10-0. Tate, with ample time to survey the field, capped the 78-yard drive with a 28-yard touchdown pass to Tony Ellison.

ASU responded with a 58-yard touchdown pass from Manny Wilkins to Brandon Aiyuk, who got behind Demetrius Flanningan-Fowles.

Contact sports reporter Michael Lev at 573-4148 or mlev@tucson.com. On Twitter @michaeljlev 

Reporter

Michael is an award-winning journalist who has been covering sports professionally since the early '90s. He started at the Star in 2015 after spending 15 years at The Orange County Register. Michael is a graduate of Northwestern University.