Arizona St. Rallies To Beat Arizona, 23-20
Nov. 25, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Arizona State rallied from a 15-point deficit in the second half Friday to beat Arizona 23-20 on Jesse Ainsworth's 20-yard field goal with six seconds to play.
The Territorial Cup victory earned the Sun Devils (6-5, 4-4 Pac-10) a postseason invitation, probably just down the road at the Insight Bowl in Phoenix.
It will be the first consecutive bowl appearances for ASU in coach Dirk Koetter's five years at the school.
Terry Richardson's 71-yard punt return and Rudy Carpenter's two-point conversion pass to Zach Miller tied it at 20-20 with 7:52 remaining.
Mike Bell gained 117 yards in 27 carries in his final game for Arizona, but missed most of the second half with a leg injury. Freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama went down with an apparent shoulder injury after being hit while throwing the game's only interception with 11:26 to play.
Richardson, who also had a punt return for a touchdown against No. 1 USC, took Nick Folk's 52-yard punt at midfield, then raced to the left and down the sidelines for the score. Richardson is the first ASU player since 1977 to have two punt return touchdowns in a season.
Rudy Burgess gained 43 yards in seven carries on the game-winning drive, capped by a 16-yard run to the Arizona 1. Carpenter fell in the middle of the field at the 3-yard line to set up Ainsworth's short kick. The drive began with a 26-yard pass to Matt Miller, whose late drop last season helped Arizona upset the Sun Devils 34-27 in Tucson.
Arizona (3-8, 2-6) led 17-5 at the half and 20-5 when Folk kicked a 47-yard field goal with 8:01 to play in the third quarter.
Bell carried the ball 20 times in the first half for 100 yards, but he limped off the field on the first series of the second half. He tried to come back, but wound up having to be helped from the field early in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats also lost starting tight end Brad Wood with a knee injury in the first half.
A personal foul facemask penalty aided a seven-play, 74-yard drive for Arizona's first touchdown. The big play on the drive came when Tuitama tossed a lateral pass to Anthony Johnson, who threw 34 yards downfield to Bell to the Sun Devils' 35. Tuitama threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Travis Bell for the score.
After the Sun Devils went three-and-out, the Wildcats drove 68-yards in 11 plays, using up nearly six minutes. Mike Bell carried eight times for 40 yards on the drive, including the final yard and the Wildcats led 17-5 with 2:19 left in the half.
Gilbert Harris, replacing Bell, dropped a sure touchdown pass just before Folk's last field goal.
Carpenter's third-down, 28-yard pass to Richardson started an 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive after Arizona's subsequent kickoff. Burgess burst 7 yards up the middle for the first ASU touchdown of the day, cutting the Wildcats' lead to 20-12 with 5:48 left in the third.
The Sun Devils took an early 5-3 lead when Arizona's Sy Tomerlin snapped the ball far over the head of the punter Folk and into the end zone. Folk kicked the ball out of the back of the end zone for a safety.