What They Are Saying: The Faces Surrounding the 2014 Territorial Cup

“Those that say if you only win one game but you beat ASU I don’t believe that at all. Is it the most important game on our schedule? Sure, because it’s the rivalry game.” Rich Rodriguez, U of A Head Coach

“You can win 11 games, go 11-0 but lose this one and it is an unsuccessful season. That was explained to me when I got here by the fans, that’s exactly how we approach it.” Todd Graham, ASU Head Coach

“Oh, it’s a big deal. If you’re not excited about this week and this game then you’re not a fan of college football, you’re not a fan of college sports. It means a lot to both programs.” Greg Byrne, U of A Director of Athletics

“To have two nationally ranked teams coming together and playing for a great deal come friday is going to be a lot of fun. Going into this game, nothing really matters. You know it’s going to be a tremendous battle. Records don’t matter, all that matters is what goes on between those white lines.” Mike Norvell, ASU Deputy Head Coach 

“I think it’s a little underrated. There’s definitely a bit of a hatred toward the opponent on both sides. It a pretty historic rivalry…it should be a fun game.” Jared Tevis, U of A Safety

“My Dad was giving me a little history lesson on the Territorial Cup the other day so I am excited but we are preparing like any other game and I am preparing like any other game.” Jordan Simone, ASU Safety

“They don’t like us, we don’t like them. It’s personal but you just kind of adapt to it…I don’t know them as people. They could be great guys but when we step on that field they’re enemies and for [this] whole week they’re enemies.” Jourdon Grandon, U of A Safety

 “I have a cousin who goes to UA, so it’s pretty big in my family. We always bicker about it and stuff like that. We were always an ASU house. I grew up as an ASU fan.” Christian Westerman, ASU Offensive Lineman

“I do know that the rivalry gets really intense with the stories that I have heard. I have wanted to get a feel for it this week, and so far, if anyone mentions ASU, a different vibe is in the air. I am really looking forward to it this Friday.” Nick Wilson, U of A Running Back

“Just seeing so many great players play in this game throughout the years, and how intense and how much fun they are to watch. I just love being a part of this history.” DJ Foster, ASU Running Back

“My first year I didn’t know much about it. As the years went on, I realized how hostile the environment is up there, and I’m sure they feel the same when they come down here. Playing here, you grow to learn how intense this rivalry really is.” Dan Pettinato, U of A Defensive Lineman

“I expect to go down there with my brothers, go to war and get a win.” Marcus Hardison, ASU Defensive Lineman

Eric Sorenson contributed to this article.