Duel in the Desert for Historic Territorial Cup

UA News Services
Nov. 29, 2004


This year's Arizona vs. Arizona State football game will mark the 78th game between the two state rivals for the original Territorial Championship Cup. The first game played between the two schools was in 1899.

The cup has been recognized by the NCAA as the oldest traditional rivalry trophy in college football, according to information provided by the Arizona Alumni Association.

Sandy Ruhl, president of the Arizona Alumni Association says that "to have one of the country's oldest athletic traditions is exciting, especially since the Arizona Alumni Association focuses projects that revitalize and celebrate the University's heritage and traditions."

This year's "Duel in the Desert" will be played Friday, Nov. 26, at 1 p.m. at Arizona Stadium in Tucson

Patti Ota, vice president for enrollment management, said the University of Arizona and Arizona Territorial Normal School (now Arizona State University) first met on the football field on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 30, 1899. The game was played at Carrillo Gardens in Tucson. "Normal" beat the UA's "Varsity" (the UA didn't become the "Wildcats" until 1914) and was awarded the cup.

The original cup is silverplate over a metal base with three decorative handles. It was manufactured by Reed & Barton of Taunton, Mass., and cost $20.

A replica of the cup will be on display at the Arizona Stadium before and during the game.

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