3:00 PM ET, November 25, 2005
Sun Devil Stadium, TEMPE, AZ
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) -- With his team facing a humbling home loss to its archrival that would end any bowl hopes, Terry Richardson squinted through the sunlight to watch the punt fall out of the desert sky.
A few seconds and a 71-yard return later, Richardson was mobbed in the end zone and Arizona State was on its way to a 23-20 victory over Arizona on Friday.
"I was thinking score, score, score," Richardson said. "I had to do something, it was a slow game. I was like, `I'm going to get it however I can."
Jesse Ainsworth won it with a 20-yard field goal -- the same length as an extra point -- with six seconds to play.
Although no official announcement has been made, the Territorial Cup victory apparently earned the Sun Devils (6-5, 4-4 Pac-10) an invitation to the Insight Bowl, played 10 miles down the freeway at Chase Field -- formerly Bank One Ballpark. The probable opponent is Rutgers.
Someone pasted an "Insight Bowl" sticker on the Territorial Cup after the game.
"We're going to spend Dec. 27 in beautiful downtown Phoenix, and we're pretty excited about that," Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said. "Any of you guys been in Phoenix around Christmas time? It's beautiful."
It will be the first consecutive bowl appearances for ASU in coach Dirk Koetter's five years at the school.
Mike Bell gained 117 yards in 27 carries in his final game for Arizona, but missed most of the second half with a deep thigh bruise.
"You could tell Mike was just having one of those games," said Arizona coach Mike Stoops, who dropped to 1-1 in the rivalry. "He's our best running back, there's no question. He was on his way to having a big day. They made a great hit on him, and that was the end of that."
Freshman quarterback Willie Tuitama went down with an apparent shoulder injury after being hit hard by safety Zach Cantanese while throwing the game's only interception with 11:26 to play.
Bell had 100 yards in 20 carries in the first half. He limped off the field in the first series of the second half, and tried briefly to come back later, but had to be helped to the sidelines.
"I took a direct shot for a deep thigh bruise," Bell said. "The second time, I took a direct shot again. The pain traveled up to my hip, so I couldn't lift my leg up."
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.
"There was never a doubt in my mind that that thing was going through," Koetter said. "Jesse's about 1,000 percent. There's no reason to risk anything else. Jesse's about automatic."
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.
"I had a lot of revenge going from last year," Miller said. "All I can say to that is `How do you like me now?"
Carpenter, who struggled much of the day, came down with strep throat late this week.
"It wasn't really a big deal until I woke up this morning and couldn't talk," Carpenter said. "I drank a lot of tea with honey at the hotel this morning so I could be loud enough they could hear me."
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, then the ASU defense but .
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. 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.
"I just took my eyes off of it," said Harris, playing despite a groin strain.
Carpenter's third-down, 28-yard pass to Richardson started a 10-play, 80-yard touchdown drive after Arizona's subsequent kickoff. Burgess burst 7 yards up the middle for the score to cut 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.
Team Stat Comparison
|3rd Down Conversions||8-17||4-13|
|4th Down Conversions||0-2||0-1|
|FG||10:58||JESSE AINSWORTH 32 YD FG|
Drive info: 10 plays, 65 yards.
|FG||7:36||NICHOLAS FOLK 37 YD FG|
Drive info: 9 plays, 52 yards.
|TD||9:37||TRAVIS BELL 7 YD PASS FROM WILLIE TUITAMA (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)|
Drive info: 7 plays, 74 yards.
|TD||2:19||MIKE BELL 1 YD RUN (NICHOLAS FOLK KICK)|
Drive info: 11 plays, 68 yards.
|FG||8:01||NICHOLAS FOLK 47 YD FG|
Drive info: 5 plays, 22 yards.
|TD||5:48||RUDY BURGESS 7 YD RUN (JESSE AINSWORTH KICK)|
Drive info: 10 plays, 80 yards.
|TD||7:52||TERRY RICHARDSON 71 YD PUNT RETURN (ZACH MILLER 2PT PASS FROM RUDY CARPENTER)||20||20|
|FG||0:09||JESSE AINSWORTH 20 YD FG|
Drive info: 13 plays, 77 yards.