Positives and Negatives: UA vs. ASU

There were plenty of positives and negatives to take away from Arizona's final regular season game. Read on for a closer look at both.

Friday night's Territorial Cup was an ugly game full of highs, lows, twists and turns. The game ended in Arizona State's favor, but it was far from easy for the Sun Devils and, in many ways, Arizona handed its rival a victory.

Mistake after mistake on the offensive end of the field prevented the Wildcats from putting up as many points as they should have and the defensive performance was very lackluster after the first quarter of play.

Untimely miscues were the cause of UA's demise and while there were plenty of problem areas for the Wildcats on Friday, there were a few positive points to take note of.


Ka'Deem Carey: Limping around and winded for much of the game, Carey did all he could to lead UA to a victory, but it simply wasn't enough to overcome the other problems on the offensive side of the ball. The sophomore finished with 172 yards on the ground to move him past 1,700 for the season. Carey also added a rushing touchdown to move him to 20 total for 2012.

Offensive line: While Scott was pressured here and there, the line did an outstanding job blocking the team that led the nations in sack coming into this week. ASU sacked Scott just once and the Wildcats averaged just a shade over five yards per rushing attempt.

Garic Wharton: The speedy wideout has contributed sporadically this season, but had his best performance of the season against Arizona State. The sophomore caught six passes for 89 yards, including an impressive 40-yard touchdown reception where he kept his balance and avoided stepping out of bounds on the way to the end zone.

Lack of penalties: Arizona was penalized just once and even that was a very questionable flag. The Wildcats have been able to avoid flags often and other than a two-game span in the middle of the schedule, UA has been able to avoid being flagged for much of the season.

Improvement Needed

Matt Scott: The senior ended the regular season with a rough outing that saw him cough the ball up four times, three of which were interceptions. The other turnover killed a drive that could have ultimately put the final dagger into the Sun Devils. Instead, ASU piled up 21 straight points in the middle of the fourth quarter to take away the momentum as well as all the life Arizona had left.

Miscues: Aside from Scott's turnovers, Arizona missed an extra point and had a punt blocked as well. In a seven point game, making so many costly mistakes is what will usually make all the difference and that was the case again on Friday.

Run defense: The Wildcats gave up 4.9 yards per carry, but the player that did the most damage to the Arizona defense was Marion Grice. The JUCO transfer added three more touchdowns on the ground -- bringing his overall total to 17 on the season – and rushed for 156 yards.

Quarterback pressure: The Sun Devils came into the contest tied for the fifth most sacks allowed in the entire nation and while Arizona isn't known for their pass rush, the fact that the Wildcat put such little pressure on Taylor Kelly is disheartening. Kelly was sacked just once and was allowed plenty of time in the pocket throughout the game.

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