Arizona State upsets # 20 UCLA in successful Rose Bowl road trip
PASADENA – Every Rose Bowl has its thorn. That thorn tonight was the Arizona State Sun Devils.
Arizona State beat the UCLA-ranked No.20 42-23, scoring his first Rose Bowl victory since 2015 and taking his conference record to 2-0 this season.
UCLA moved the ball with tempo and efficiency in the first half, running a total of 48 games in the first half. While the Sun Devils’ defense was undoubtedly gassed after allowing back-to-back touchdowns early on, ASU managed to keep the Bruins one field goal or less on five of seven possessions in the first half.
With all the talk surrounding UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson ahead of the game, ASU’s Jayden Daniels made sure to quickly remind those watching his prowess, hitting passes of 47, 65 and 54. yards in the first half, the last two being touchdowns. to wide receiver Ricky Pearsall.
The first half featured a total of 47 points and 554 yards, paving the way for a real Pac-12 shootout between the top two teams in the Pac-12 South Division. With the lead changing a total of seven times in the first two quarters, it would have been appropriate for the game to be played on the wire. But this is not the case.
The Sun Devils were leading 24-23 at halftime, although the lead could have been larger. A flag for having 12 players on the field in the ASU special teams unit on a fourth and 6 punters helped UCLA secure a better field position for the Bruins, who ultimately opted for a goal later in the journey. .
Returning man DJ Taylor also escaped a punt with four seconds left in the half, with the Bruins recovering and quickly kicking a field unit to reach a game point at the end of the second quarter. .
The momentum appeared to be in the Bruins’ favor heading into the second half despite their decline. UCLA led the Sun Devils in possession, total yards, penalties, first downs, fourth down conversions, two trips to the red zone and the same number of turnovers as ASU.
That momentum was quickly grabbed by the Sun Devils on a 49-yard touchdown by running back Rachaad White to give Arizona State two possessions (thanks to a 2-point conversion) in their first practice of the second half.
Down 32-23, the Bruins showed signs of life and responded by moving the chains, before a missed 39-yard field goal by Nicholas Barr-Mira.
The third quarter was largely a back and forth with punt trades, although the very end of the period was dramatic. Sun Devils linebacker Kyle Soelle was sent off for targeting what many would call questionable at best.
Following an injury to ASU linebacker Darien Butler, the Bruins were less than two yards from goal before being stopped on the fourth down. Freshman Eric Gentry was the man responsible for stopping Thompson-Robinson in the open field to keep UCLA out of the end zone in fourth.
The Bruins finished the third quarter with four penalties for 49 yards, preventing any sort of good start to the second half that UCLA needed to stay within striking distance.
The fourth quarter was that of Arizona State, marching the field on an 11-game, 96-yard run that lasted 6:52 and was capped by a white touchdown. That put the Sun Devils in the lead 39-23 with 6:43 left.
The Bruins couldn’t save a single face at the end of the game, making sure the ASU’s surprise looked clean both on the field and in the box. UCLA was shut out in the second half,
Arizona State now sits atop the Pac-12 South, controlling its own destiny to the end in hopes of securing a place in the Conference Championship game later in December.
The Sun Devils will face Stanford, which upset Oregon on Saturday, at Sun Devil Stadium on Friday, October 8.