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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Wildcats lose chance to claim Territorial Cup in 58-21 loss to ASU

Ryan Revock

UA senior quarterback B.J. Denker jogs off the field after losing to ASU 58-21 in Tempe on Saturday.

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats team that upset Oregon last Saturday was nowhere to be found tonight at Sun Devil Stadium.

The No. 13 Arizona State Sun Devils beat Arizona 58-21 in the Territorial Cup.

Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez called the Wildcats’ performance “embarrassing.”

“I’m not embarrassed of my players and I’m not embarrassed to be the coach,” Rodriguez said. “I’m just embarrassed we didn’t play our best game.”

ASU opened the game by scoring field goals on its first two drives of the game.

Scoring continued for the Sun Devils with a touchdown off of junior quarterback Taylor Kelly’s pass to wide open senior receiver Darwin Rogers.

With 30 seconds left in the first quarter, the Wildcats were able to convert their first, first down with a 2-yard rush by junior running back Ka’Deem Carey.

Carey said it was a lack of execution early in the game that hurt the Wildcats most.

“Settling down as an offense early, that’s something we didn’t do,” Carey said. “We didn’t get to settle down; we didn’t get our feet wet; we didn’t get the ball moving. If we did that, the game would’ve been a different story. We never got it moving; we never got comfortable.”

Carey had 157 yards on the night, making this the 15th consecutive game where he rushed for more than 100 yards.

But even Carey struggled. In a fourth down situation, Carey needed to rush for 1 yard, but instead pushed back 7.

The defense did, however, look strong for parts of the game. Senior defensive end Sione Tuihalamaka had three sacks on the night.

Senior quarterback B.J. Denker gave kudos to the defense’s performance.

“The defense did a hell of a job,” Denker said. “They put up 51 points, but 28 of those were offense’s fault.”

Denker himself looked like a completely different athlete from last week.

Saturday night, Denker threw three interceptions, compared to having none last week.

But the play was in vain, as a 42-yard field goal attempt by senior kicker Jake Smith flew left of the uprights.

The Sun Devils were able to respond with a field goal of their own and closed the half leading 30-7.

Arizona started the second half looking like a team poised for an upset. After seven plays, Carey scored an 8-yard rushing touchdown.

But that poise didn’t last, as Denker threw an interception midway through the third quarter that junior defensive back Damarious Randall recovered for a 64-yard Sun Devil touchdown.

Later in the quarter, Arizona seemed to still have a heartbeat. After Denker rushed for 21 yards, he fumbled. The ball was swiftly recovered by junior receiver Garic Wharton, who took it to the end zone. Arizona cut the deficit, 37-21.

Although the Wildcats fought to stay alive, all hope was lost in the fourth quarter. The Sun Devils had two unanswered touchdowns.

Rodriguez said although the team didn’t play well, this game will not define the season.

“I told the team that this shouldn’t define them,” Rodriguez said. “It’s hard right now and we’re all going to be ticked off for 24 hours or more and all that, but this shouldn’t define our senior class. This shouldn’t define our team, because we’ve had some nice wins.
“We’ll be better. We’re going to keep getting better.”

—Follow Scarlett McCourt @scarlettnoelani

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