Arizona State and UCLA came into Saturday night’s game with division standing on the line and chances to improve their bowl berth chances. Arizona State came in at 5-4 overall and 4-2 in Pac-12 play. The Bruins came in at 4-5 overall and 2-4 in conference play.
Arizona State came in playing some good football by winning three out of their last four games. The Sun Devils had beat Washington, Utah, and Colorado in last few weeks.
UCLA came in playing the exact opposite of the Sun Devils. The Bruins were losers three out of four. However, starting quarterback Josh Rosen was lost to injury in the Washington game and that played a part in the fortunes of UCLA the last couple weeks.
Josh Rosen was questionable before Saturday’s game, but that question was answered when he was announced as the starter for the Bruins.
Arizona State came out and put a quick 14 points on the board.
N’Keal Harry of Arizona State scored on seven yard pass from Manny Wilkins and then Demario Richard took the ball in from two yards out. It seemed like Arizona State came here to make a statement. The Devils were running the ball well and were controlling the game.
Well, so much for thinking.
Manny Wilkins gets a pass tipped deep in Sun Devil territory and it’s returned 27 yards for a touchdown by Nate Meadors of UCLA. The Bruins needed something good to happen because Josh Rosen came out a little shaky. Getting that touchdown breathed some life into UCLA.
Arizona State was pounding the ball on the ground. Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard were making life very tough for the Bruins. By halftime the Sun Devils had 203 yards rushing.
The Bruins were a little more balanced on offense. UCLA had 138 yards on the ground and 156 yards passing.
The score at half was 21-20 Sun Devils. The game was up for grabs.
The Pac-12 After Dark officially decided to show up as well in the second half of play.
Scoring on both sides took over in the third quarter. The Sun Devils got two field goals and touchdown. The Bruins got two touchdowns.
However, the Sun Devils got a huge break to tie the game when Eno Benjamin recovered a block punt and ran the ball nine yards to the end zone to tie the game up at 34.
Scoring was not over. At least for UCLA.
Josh Rosen threw a 22 yard touchdown pass to Jordan Lasley, who had been suspended multiple times during the year, but has found his way back onto the UCLA squad. At that point for Josh Rosen, had amassed 322 yards through the air. The next possession for the Bruins had more fruit to bear as they got a chip shot field goal by JJ Molson.
That made it 44-34.
The body language for the Sun Devils started to slump a bit and when the Devils didn’t get a first down on a 4th and 9, the wind was taken out of their sails even more.
With the help of a N’Keal Harry 39 yard reception, the Sun Devils managed to get another field goal on the board to make it 44-37 UCLA, but that is all she wrote for this game.
The final score was 44-37 UCLA with the victory.
Josh Rosen finished the game with 381 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and finished the game much better than how he started the game.
It’s not how you start, it’s how you finish.
UCLA proved that on Saturday night.