Arizona State trailed its biggest rival by 19 points heading into the fourth quarter.
On the Sun Devils' sideline, quarterback Manny Wilkins told his teammates to treat it like a basketball game: get a stop, get a bucket, get a stop, get a bucket.
Arizona State's defense held up its end with two turnovers. The offense got the buckets. And when one last-second Arizona field goal attempt sailed right, the Sun Devils had the Territorial Cup back in their hands.
Eno Benjamin scored on a 22-yard touchdown as Arizona State rallied from a 19-point deficit to beat rival Arizona 41-40 on Saturday.
“We were just poised, trusted the game plan, nobody pointing fingers when something went wrong,” said Wilkins, who threw for 265 yards and a touchdown. “That's why we finished with one more point than they did.”
Arizona (5-7, 4-5 Pac-12) led 40-21 heading in the fourth quarter after Khalil Tate threw his third TD pass of the game, eight yards to Tony Ellison.
Arizona State (7-5, 5-4) started its rally with Wilkins' 11-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion. Aashari Crosswell's interception return to Arizona's 22-yard line set up Brandon Ruiz's 39-yard field goal, then the Sun Devils recovered J.J. Taylor's fumble at Arizona's 22-yard line.
Benjamin burst up the middle, cut outside and finished off his third touchdown of the game to put the Sun Devils up 41-40 with 3:08 left.
The Wildcats got the ball back and marched down the field, but Josh Pollack, who made four field goals, pushed a 45-yard attempt wide right with 11 seconds left.
“This will sound crazy, but we're comfortable there; we're not in a panic,” Arizona State coach Herm Edwards said. “We just kind of keep fighting. That's the DNA of the players.”
The Wildcats leave with an excruciating loss in their biggest game of the season. Arizona not only blew a big lead to lose to its biggest rival, it lost a chance to play a bowl game in coach Kevin Sumlin's first season.
Tate threw for 282 yards and three touchdowns, and Taylor had 144 yards on 28 carries for Arizona.
“The biggest issue was the two turnovers on your side of the 50,” Sumlin said.
at No. 17 Utah 35, Brigham Young 27: Jason Shelley threw for 141 yards and a touchdown and added 61 yards and another score on the ground to rally No. 17 Utah to a 35-27 victory over BYU on Saturday night.
Armand Shyne also ran for a pair of touchdowns, including the go-ahead score, to help the Utes rally from a 20-point third quarter deficit. Utah (9-3, 6-3 Pac-12) gained only 296 total yards, but beat the Cougars for the eighth straight time dating to 2010.
Zach Wilson threw for 204 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Wilson added 73 yards on the ground. Matt Hadley also ran for 64 yards and a pair of scores before leaving with an ankle injury in the fourth quarter.
BYU (6-6) totaled just 51 yards in the fourth quarter after piling up 306 yards through the first three quarters, opening the door for Utah to rally.
at California 33, Colorado 21: Elijah Hicks and Ashtyn Davis scored on interception returns for touchdown in the first quarter to lead a defense that forced a season-high five turnovers, and California rolled past Colorado 33-21 on Saturday night.
Chase Garbers passed for 116 yards and two touchdowns while absorbing several big hits early as the Golden Bears (7-4, 4-4 Pac-12) clinched their first winning season since 2015 despite nearly blowing a 17-point lead.
The Bears were already assured of a bowl bid and can improve their prospects next week against Stanford in a game that was delayed due to unhealthy air conditions stemming from the deadly wildfire in Northern California.
No. 3 Notre Dame 34, at USC 17