The Territorial Cup has never been a game which needs any extra buildup-especially this year with both Arizona State and Arizona sitting at 9-2 and the potential of a Pac-12 South Championship at stake.
To this point both teams have been respectful of one another through the media as each realize the significance of Friday’s game in Tucson.
Monday morning UofA senior safety and former Avondale Westview star Jourdon Grandon stoked the flames a bit in this white-hot rivalry discussing ASU junior star receiver Jaelen Strong.
“With him it’s just about being physical,” Grandon told Sports360AZ.com’s Brad Cesmat from Tucson. “When you’re a little physical with him I’m not sure he responds to it very well. But he’s a great receiver and he’s going to make plays. We just need to be sure we limit his plays.”
Grandon continued saying the Wildcats need stay aggressive on the Sun Devils’ leading receiver.
“I don’t care who it is,” he told Cesmat. “Once you hit them in the mouth they kind of back down. Once you constantly get hit you kind of start getting worn down…we just want to make sure we’re physical with him and see how he responds.
Cats’ head coach Rich Rodriguez later told Cesmat Grandon’s comments were out of line and not accurate regarding Strong.
“He’s wrong,” Rodriguez said. “He shouldn’t have said that. He’s a real physical player. He’s one of the most physical wide receivers in the country so Jourdon’s off on that deal.”
Strong leads ASU in catches (71), yards (982) and touchdown receptions (nine) despite missing part of the Devils’ loss to Oregon State two weeks ago and all of Saturday’s win over Washington State with a concussion.
Grandon is coming off arguably his best game last week when he had four tackles, a sack, an interception and a pass breakup in UofA’s route of Utah in Salt Lake City.
Kickoff Friday at Arizona Stadium is set for just past 1:30.