Inside Slant

The Sports Xchange

November 20, 2018 at 10:39 pm.

Arizona looking for bowl eligibility in Territorial Cup Game

Kevin Sumlin will get his first taste of the Territorial Cup Game this week when Arizona (5-6, 4-4 Pac-12) hosts in-state rival Arizona State in the regular season finale for both teams.

Both teams have had their fair share of success over the years, and the teams have flip-flopped victories in each of the past five seasons. If tradition holds true, it is the Wildcats’ turn to take home the Territorial Cup, having taken possession in 2014 and 2016.

This will be another season with two new head coaches at the respective programs as Sumlin is in his first season at Arizona while Herm Edwards is Arizona State’s first-year head coach. Both coaches have known each other for quite some time, and Sumlin even had Edwards talk to his Texas A&M team a couple years ago.

Despite the cordial nature of the head coaches, the rivalry is a fierce one that still holds plenty of weight in households throughout Arizona.

“That trophy being brought back to your school or your locker room at the end of the game means something,” Sumlin said.

“… That’s a whole year that you have listen to some things that you maybe you don’t want to listen to. That’s part of it. … We’re going to approach it the same, but deep down everybody knows it’s a rivalry game.”

Arizona and Arizona State (6-5, 4-4) were eliminated from the Pac-12 Conference’s South Division race Saturday, when both teams lost their games, coupled with Utah’s win over Colorado. The Sun Devils are already bowl eligible, but the Wildcats still need one more win.

Making it to postseason play is a goal Arizona still has on its mind making Saturday’s contest for more than simply pride on the Wildcats’ side.

“Just because that (Utah) game happened, that’s one lump in the road,” sophomore linebacker Tony Fields II said. “We still have a bowl game we can get to and we still have a chance to get the next game.”