The 24th-ranked Arizona Wildcats will host this year's Duel in the Desert. Arizona State (6-5, 4-4) will bring in a very good offense but a defense that has surrendered points in bunches.
The winner of this game will tie USC for sixth place in the Pac-12, which could leave the loser needing some help to reach a bowl game.
So long as Stanford beats UCLA on Saturday, eight teams will likely make a bowl game. But if USC ends up in the Pac-12 Championship Game, the Pac may end up represented in just the Rose Bowl.
That would not bode well for the eighth-seed. The winner of the Territorial Cup could also keep their rival home in December.
When: Friday, Nov. 23 at 10 p.m. ET
Where: Arizona Stadium, Tucson, Ariz.
Listen: Free Football Radio
Live Stream: Watch ESPN
Spread: Arizona -3 (odds via Bovada)
Arizona has a better record despite playing a more difficult schedule than Arizona State. They have been more impressive in those games, posting blowout wins against No. 21 Oklahoma State and No. 25 Washington.
With home field advantage, I would have expected a larger spread favoring the Wildcats.
Arizona and surrendering the points is a great value in this matchup.
For those that are leaning towards Arizona State, don't bother taking the points and look at the moneyline. It pays out at +130.
I produced my primer on this match prior to the over/under being released. I thought this game could be a great value on the over.
Surprise...the over/under came in a half-point above my projected point total. If pressed to pick, I'd go over on this match, but this is a tough line.
Injury Report (via USA Today as of Wednesday, Nov. 21)
Mike Pennel, DL, Questionable (Undisclosed Issues)
Villiami Moeakiola, S, Out (Hamstring)
Ka'Deem Carey, RB, Probable (Collarbone)
Tra'Mayne Bondurant, S, Questionable (Leg)
Dan Buckner, WR, Questionable (Leg)
Jourdon Grandon, CB, Questionable ( Concussion)
Wayne Capers, Jr., S, Questionable (Illness)
Hank Hobson, LB, Questionable (Neck)
Chris Putton, OL, Questionable (Concussion)
Terrence Miller, TE, Out (Foot)
Dominique Austin, DL, Out (Foot)
The loser of this game could land outside of the Pac-12's seven committed bowl appearances. While both teams are eligible, there's a chance one could be left out of a bowl game.
Keys for Arizona State Victory
Arizona State has a good defense, but the Wildcats are one of the most balanced offensive attacks they've seen all season. The Sun Devils need to figure out how to stop a very good ground attack and a quarterback that has thrown for 3,000 yards this season.
Arizona State will be able to score on Arizona. The key is if it can keep up with Arizona's offense.
Their best route to keeping up with Arizona is to play solid defense. This starts with getting pressure on quarterback Matt Scott who can pick apart most defenses, if he's given time in the pocket.
If Scott is pressured then DB Keelan Johnson could be the recipient of another interception this week.
Keys for Arizona Victory
As good as Scott has been throwing the ball, Arizona will look for a good game from the nation's leading rusher. Ka'Deem Carey has been unstoppable the last two weeks and can give Arizona the ball-control offense they need to keep Arizona State's offense off the field.
A strong game from Carey will also make it harder for the Sun Devils to blitz as often and should open up play-action options for the Wildcats.
This game should be competitive and will likely feature a lot of offense.
Arizona State is the better defensive team, but the unit certainly aren't dominant. Prior to rebounding against Washington State last week, the Sun Devils allowed at least 36 points in four consecutive games.
Arizona has the better offensive team. The Wildcats are balanced, landing in the top 25 for passing offense, rushing offense and scoring.
If the Sun Devils can shut down Arizona's rushing attack, then all they'll have to do is stop a 3,000-yard passer.
Arizona's defense hasn't been effective, but it has played some talented offenses this season. Arizona State can score in bunches and Arizona can allow teams to do so.
Both teams will be playing with fervor to win the cup and ensure their bowl status.
Predicted Score: Arizona 38, Arizona State 30
Darin Pike is a writer for Bleacher Report's Breaking News Team and a Featured Columnist covering the NFL and the Seattle Seahawks.
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