Arizona trailed 7-3 after a Cam Skattebo touchdown with 7:53 remaining in the first quarter.

Arizona then ripped off 49 unanswered to blow the game open and threaten to do to Arizona State exactly what the Sun Devils did to the Wildcats three years ago in Tucson. In the end, the Wildcats walked off with a 59-23 victory.

It marked Arizona’s sixth consecutive win. The 15th-ranked Wildcats (9-3, 7-2 Pac-12) earned their first win in Tempe since 2011 and a nine-win season for just the seventh time in program history.

The scars from 70-7 are still there for Arizona. Coach Jedd Fisch said this week that the only thing he did to show newcomers the game’s importance was to show them the billboard. Thirteen players remained on this team from the one that lost that game.

Michael Wiley was one of them. Wiley had 66 rushing yards, 35 receiving yards, and three total touchdowns. You think these guys wanted to make amends?

Here are three takeaways from the game.

Pass game shreds ASU

Tetairoa McMillan broke the Territorial Cup receiving record with a 50-yard touchdown reception the third quarter. It put Arizona up 52-7. There was not a Sun Devil anywhere near him as he jogged into the endzone.

That was the day for Arizona. Receivers running free. Noah Fifita firing without compunction.

McMillan finished with 11 receptions for 266 yards and a touchdown, shattering the previous Territorial Cup record. (It was also the second-best day in school history by an Arizona receiver.)

Arizona put up 619 yards of offense — a record against Arizona State — as Fifita completed 30 of his 41 pass attempts for 527 yards and four touchdowns. Fifita had the most passing yards by an Arizona quarterback in the series by halftime. By game’s end, he had taken both the Territorial Cup record (previously 511 yards) and the single-game Arizona record.

Jacob Cowing added nine catches for 157 yards.

Tanner McLachlan added seven catches for 60 yards and two touchdowns, bringing his career total to 76 catches and breaking a Rob Gronkowski record for the most by a tight end in program history.

Jaden Rashada returns, but rust shows

Arizona State’s prized recruit from he 2023 class made his first appearance since Week 2 for Arizona State. He was poised to start in his return to the field, but a late arrival to a meeting earlier this week meant he technically did not start.

It was Cam Skattebo and Jalin Conyers in the backfield to open the game. Then it was Rashada.

Rust was expected from the youngster. He completed 10 of his 22 passes for 82 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions. He missed a few you expect him to make under different circumstances.

It was a 38-7 game at the halftime break. Arizona State got the ball to open the second half. If there was going to be a push from the Sun Devils to get back into the game, it needed to happen right away.

Instead, Arizona’s Gunner Maldonado, who forced a fumble in the first half, picked off Rashada on the second play of the drive. He nearly housed it and set Arizona up just 9 yards from paydirt. Fifita fired to McLachlan on the second play of the drive to put Arizona up 45-7.

Bowl game thoughts

Arizona was a cut above Arizona State on Saturday.

Arizona has been a cut above every team it has played over the back half of the season.

One could argue the Wildcats are the best three-loss team in college football. What bowl game awaits for the UA? Is it the Alamo Bowl? Probably. Arizona is absolutely deserving of a New Year’s Six bowl game, though.

It will be interesting to see how high Arizona climbs in the latest College Football Playoff rankings. Louisville laid an egg. LSU didn’t exactly look convincing against a coach-less Texas A&M team.