Senior relishes rivalry

Young Thompson knows all about this rivalry. After spending five years in the program, the senior defensive tackle knows all about the dislike felt between the Wildcats and the Sun Devils. Add a family twist to the rivalry and Thompson wants to beat Arizona State as much as anyone on the roster.

Thompson has just one game left in his career. After Friday's game his tour of duty in the cardinal and navy will be over, but his time at Arizona is not. Thompson may not gear up for spring practice, but he ha s a momentous occasion waiting for him in the spring.

"It has been a great ride," Thompson said. "My four years here have been a blur. The only thing I'm looking forward to is beating the Scum Devils and graduating in May."

It's an emotional time for the Wildcat seniors and Thompson confesses that the veterans know the end is near and are preparing for it.

"You only have a certain time left to hang out with these guys," said Thompson. "Right now we are rallying around, reminiscing about when we first got here."

Despite being from American Somoa, Thompson has embraced the rivalry like a native Arizonan. Not only has he been a Wildcat since 1999, but his brother chose to wear the maroon and gold.

"This is a real big game," said Thompson. "I know the state of Arizona will be divided for a week over this game. It's a very big rivalry. I hate those guys. I don't care about them. I don't like those guys. I know my brother played for those guys and I'm sorry about that."

There will be no post season game for Arizona. All of the players agree that this is their bowl game. The senior class has never played in the post season and in see this as their last chance at glory. Thompson likened it to a last mission for a band of warriors.

"This is my bowl game," Thompson said. "The seniors have been talking about the fact that our ship is going right in the middle of the field. We're all going to go out, burn our ship and just beat those guys. We're going to be like Vikings. Our boat isn't going to sail no more, so we're going to burn the boat, jump down and slaughter those guys."

Thompson laughed when he was reminded about the dancing incident following last year's game. The Wildcats danced on the mid-field painting of Sparky, enraging the Sun Devils leading to a melee. Thompson joked about the chance at getting another piece of the ASU mascot.

"If Sparky gets to close I'll hit him with my helmet," Thompson said laughing.

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