by Jake McDonald, CORE 360 Magazine
D.J. Foster, De’Marieya Nelson, and Taylor Kelly each chipped in two touchdowns as Arizona State rolled over rival Arizona 58-21 in front of a packed Sun Devil Stadium to win the Territorial Cup and advance to the PAC 12 Championship Game.
Arizona State got off to a fast start scoring 27 unanswered points in the first 22 minutes of the game. Even more amazing is they accomplished the feat without the 22 touchdowns and 1433 yards usually provided by the dynamic duo of Marion Grice and Deantre Lewis.
“I had a lot of confidence in the guys that were going to step up and play that role,” remarked quarterback Taylor Kelly.
The Wildcats finally answered midway through the second quarter on a 1 yard run by quarterback BJ Denker. It was one of just a few bright spots for the senior who ended the night with 3 interceptions one for a pick six.
Arizona continued fighting nearly cutting the lead in half on the legs of Ka’Deem Carey. The junior from Tucson rushed for 59 of his game high 157 yards on the opening drive of the second half. Carey capped the drive with an 8 yard burst up the middle of the ASU front.
Every two steps forward taken by the Wildcats was negated by a turnover. Denker erased his touchdown run throwing a dart into the arms of ASU’s Damarious Randall. The junior free safety took it 65 yards for his first interception and touchdown of the year.
“Arizona ran that punch pattern earlier, and when they went back to it we changed what we were doing,” said ASU Head Coach Todd Graham. “Demarius read it perfectly—pick six. Tremendous job.”
“He knew where I was coming and played it well,” confirmed Denker.
The Sun Devils outscored their rivals 21-7 over the final 18 minutes to seal the victory and secure bragging rights and the Cup for another year.
Arizona State will play host to Stanford and the PAC 12 Championship Game next week. PAC-12 Championship Game TicketsESPN Video Highlights
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