Nov. 24, 2012
Postgame Press Conference Video
TUCSON - Marion Grice rushed for 156 yards and three touchdowns and Arizona State (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) rallied back from a 10-point, fourth-quarter deficit to defeat Arizona (7-5, 4-5 Pac-12), 41-34, Friday night at Arizona Stadium.
Trailing 27-17 in the fourth quarter, Arizona State added a 39-yard field goal to pull within a touchdown. It looked as if Arizona would add to its lead on the ensuing possession but a Matt Scott fumble at the ASU 18-yard line was picked up by Deveron Carr at the ASU 44. The Sun Devils needed just six plays to cash in on Marion Grice's third touchdown run of the day, tying the score 27-27.
Arizona State forced the Wildcats to go three and out on its next drive and Kyle Duganzic's punt was blocked by Kevin Ayers, giving the Sun Devils the ball deep in Arizona territory at the eight-yard line. Cameron Marshall put ASU in front after an eight-yard touchdown run on the first play of scrimmage.
Arizona's game-tying drive came up short when Scott's pass was intercepted by Robert Nelson and returned 66 yards all the way down to the Arizona two-yard line. Michael Eubank punched in a one-yard touchdown on third down to give the Sun Devils a comfortable 41-24 lead with just 2:51 remaining, sealing the victory.
"I'm disappointed we lost," Arizona head coach Rich Rodriguez said. "I love our kids and I'm really proud of our seniors but I'm disappointed we lost and the kids are, too, I'm sure. Our guys competed hard."
The story of the game was the turnover battle as Arizona turned the ball over four times (one fumble and three interceptions) on the night. Arizona State had two turnovers on a pair of fumbles. Arizona outgained Arizona State, 522-460 in the contest, running 12 more plays than the Sun Devils on offense.
Ka'Deem Carey once again put the Wildcats in position to win by carrying the ball 25 times for 172 yards and a touchdown. With tonight's yardage, Carey now how holds the UA single-season rushing record with 1,757 yards - replacing Trung Canidate's previous record of 1,602 yards in 1999. Meanwhile, Scott was 19-for-39 with 230 yards through the air and three touchdown tosses and three interceptions. Scott also carried the ball 11 times for 42 yards in his final regular season game in an Arizona uniform.
After forcing a three and out on Arizona State's first offensive possession, Arizona put together a six-play, 69-yard drive that was capped off by a Carey one-yard touchdown run, his 20th rushing touchdown on the season. The PAT was missed to make the score 6-0.
The score remained 6-0 into the start of the second quarter until the Sun Devils got on the scoreboard on a 52-yard touchdown run by Grice. The PAT was good to put ASU in front, 7-6.
ASU immediately got the ball back after a Scott pass was intercepted on the first play of the Arizona drive. The Sun Devils went nine plays for 62 yards and was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run by Grice, giving ASU a 14-6 lead.
The Sun Devils were looking to put more points on the board near the end of the half, but Marquis Flowers recovered a fumble by Alonzo Agwuenu to get the ball back for the Wildcats with two minutes remaining. The Wildcats drove 62 yards and added a 33-yard field goal by John Bonano as time expired to make the score 14-9 at the half.
Carey led the Wildcats with 123 yards on 19 carries and a touchdown in the first half of play.
The Sun Devils opened second half with a 10-play, 66-yard drive, capped off by a 26-yard field goal to put ASU in front, 17-9.
Arizona immediately answered as Scott found Hill for a 22-yard touchdown pass to cap off a 11-play, 83-yard drive to pull the Wildcats within a point at 17-16.
After the Arizona defense came up with a key three-and-out, Scott hit Wharton for a 40-yard touchdown pass and Bonano trotted in on a fake kick to convert the two-point conversion, making the score 24-17.
Arizona State fumbled on the very first play on its next possession and it was recovered by Arizona's Jake Fischer at the ASU 24-yard line. Arizona drove all the way down to the two-yard line before it was forced to convert a Bonano field goal to make the score 27-17.
The Wildcats added a score late as Scott found Richards for a 17-yard touchdown pass to pull within a touchdown. With less than two minutes remaining, Arizona's onside kick attempt failed and the Sun Devils ran out the clock to clinch the victory.
Arizona's bowl destination will be announced Sun., Dec. 2.