(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
Arizona State (5-7) dropped its sixth-straight game and the second Territorial Cup of the Todd Graham era 56-35 to Arizona (3-9) in Tucson on Friday night.
The Wildcats threw the ball just eight times on the evening and didn’t elect to pass one time in the second half.
Instead, Arizona ran all over the Sun Devil defense, totaling 511 yards and seven touchdowns on 48 carries – the most yardage the Wildcats have ever accumulated.
The three-headed monster of Samajie Grant, Zach Green and Brandon Dawkins proved too much for the ASU defense – a unit that, by the end of the night, was without Kareem Orr, Armand Perry and Marcus Ball.
Grant, Green and Dawkins all finished with 100 or more rushing yards, the first time any Wildcat trio has accomplished such a feat since 1993.
Dawkins led the charge on offense, scoring three touchdowns – two rushing and one passing – and totaled 183 rushing yards. Grant followed with 176 yards and three touchdowns.
Dawkins was selected as the 2016 Bob Moran Territorial Cup MVP.
Through the air, Manny Wilkins threw the ball 58 times, completing 42 of those passes for 356 yards and an interception. He was also the Sun Devils’ leading rusher, posting a team-high in yards (79) and carries (23).
Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage, a duo known as thunder and lightning entering the season, carried the ball a combined 14 times for 47 yards and a touchdown.
The Arizona State rushing ineptitude was in absolute contrast to what Arizona was able to do and proved to be the nail in the coffin for Arizona State and its season.
With the loss, any hope of a bowl berth for the Sun Devils is bleak at best, while the team’s 5-7 record is tied for the worst mark of Graham’s 10-year head coaching career.