Beating Arizona: 6 Sun Devils discuss their legendary Territorial Cup plays


Keith Poole - The Pose (1996)

“It was such a fun game and such a fun play. Jake hit me on a simple skinny post route for the touchdown, and that idiot from Tucson hit me late. About two yards into the endzone he hit me late and actually cracked me ribs. My first initial reaction was to get up and throw the ball at him, but I didn’t want to get thrown out of the game, so I threw the ball up in the air, got in his face, and threw up the number ones. I let him know we were number one and that they were garbage.

“I think why it’s a favorite is that it was spur of the moment. It wasn’t something that was planned. It had so much emotion involved in it. I was so angry and excited at the same time. I did not know that it was going to be a picture that people remember."

Rudy Carpenter - The Throw to The Catch Pt. 2 (2007)

“We were just running four verticals. They were playing Cover 2. It was just a much, much, much better catch than it was a throw. As I dropped back, I saw Chris out of the corner of my eye, and I made the throw. I felt like I had pressure, so I got it out of my hand really quick. That’s what caused the ball to be not as accurate. Obviously, that was a great catch by Chris.”

Chris McGaha - The Catch Pt. 2 (2007)

“Antoine (Cason) was a great Cover 2 corner, and I knew that I was faster than him and more athletic. We knew that on film, and knew he liked to sit on stuff. I forget what play it was, but I knew that I was going to get right by him. So I just ran straight at him, and as soon as I got there, I went right around him. Rudy threw the ball, and as I saw it coming, I knew that when I had gone around Antoine I was closer to the sideline than I thought I should be. Most of the time, I would have faded to the ball, but I figured I have to turn and get this because if I fade to it, I’ll catch it out of bounds.

“When I turned to get it, I didn’t realize how high it still was. When I jumped up to get it, it had a lot of spin on it. Usually, Rudy’s balls didn’t have a lot of spin on them. It hit my hands and slide out and I caught my fingertips on it, and then landed on my head. I was just fortunate to come up with it. In reality, I think I made it harder than it actually was, just because my mindset was that I didn’t want to go out of bounds.”

James Brooks - The Block (2010)

“It was crazy. It didn’t really hit me until afterwards. In the midst of the game, someone had to make a play, and our backs were against the wall. It just happened. It was so fast, I couldn’t really think about it.

"We knew all week that he (Arizona kicker Alex Zendejas) was struggling. We knew that the trajectory of his kicks were low. The second one I didn’t really block it, it was just a poor kick. It really hit the offensive lineman before it hit me. It was a crazy scene.”

Robert Nelson - The Interception (2012)

“Keelan Johnson took away one of my interceptions a couple series before that. It was my goal to get an interception in that game because I feel like Keelan stole one from me. My assignment for that game was to lock (Austin) Hill down. Wherever he go, I go with him.

"I got a tip ball, and I just caught it. I wanted to score bad, but I had to slow down because Davon Coleman was blocking for me. The quarterback kind of took him out. A lot of respect for Davon Coleman for running that far with me. He’s a 300-pound lineman and was running down with me the whole field.

"After I saw him take Davon out, I thought for sure I was going to score. I was tired, my legs were dead. Next thing you know, he comes around again after he it Davon. A lineman tried to tackle me and slowed me down a bit, then a receiver came, so there were two guys on me. I wish I would have dove, but it set us up for the win. I can officially say that I’m undefeated against the Wildcats.

“It was one of the best moments of my life.”

Damarious Randall - The Pick Six (2013)

“I was watching a lot of film, and I identified the formation when they came out in it. I was trying to communicate with the corner and nickel as to what was going on. Once I identified the play and heard them say ‘hut’, I just read the quarterback and saw that it was the exact play I saw on film. He threw it, I got it and was gone.”

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