Maybe a broken nose for Josh Rosen. It looked kind of crooked on TV, bloody at the least. At the end of the night UCLA stood toe-to-toe with the Sun Devils and came away with an entertaining 44-37 victory Saturday evening at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena.
So while planes flew over the Rose Bowl today with messages about the current state of affairs with UCLA Football, the Bruins still had a game to play. Many in Bruins Nation wondered if the Bruins would mail it in, and as evidenced by the Bruins’ play on the field, the Bruins were not going to give up on their season tonight at the Rose Bowl.
UCLA received the proverbial punch in the face during the first half as they quickly fell behind 14-0. The Bruins could have wilted then, but they didn’t. And after the UCLA offense could not do anything to help with the 14-0 deficit, the UCLA defense came to the rescue and scored a defensive TD, and that TD turned the tide of the game.
UCLA went into the half down only by one, and the momentum was on UCLA’s side, especially after the missed ASU field goal to end the half.
UCLA held the Sun Devils’s first drive to start the second half. ASU went for it on 4th and 5 and did not convert, and the UCLA momentum continued.
UCLA then took their first second half possession and drove right down the field and scored on a Soso Jamabo rush to the right for 21 yards for a TOUCHDOWN. UCLA went up for the first time 27-21.
ASU was in trouble on their next drive. A Sun Devil personal foul put ASU into a 3rd and 18, but ASU was able to convert and drive down the field. UCLA’s defense eventually held and forced ASU to kick a FG. At the 7:22 mark ASU trailed 27-24.
The Bruins answered ASU’s field goal with a TD. Highlighted by a Josh Rosen pass to the left to Bolu Olorunfunmi for 56 yards to the ASU 9. Bolo then scored on a two yard TD run, and UCLA went up 34-24 with 5:41 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
The Sun Devils answered with a huge drive, and picked up a big 3rd and 10 as Manny Wilkins completed a pass to the right to Kyle Williams for 19 yards to the ASU 43. The drive stalled for the Sun Devils, and they were able to kick a field goal.
UCLA received the ball and had a horrible possession that got even worse when they tried to punt the ball. ASU’s Lawall blocked the punt, and it was returned by Eno Benjamin for a TOUCHDOWN. At the 2:13 mark of the 3rd quarter the score was tied 34-34.
UCLA’s next possession was a resounding answer to ASU’s blocked punt TD. UCLA started off their drive with a Josh Rosen pass to the left to Giovanni Gentosi for 29 yards to the ASU 46, and the drive was finished with a Josh Rosen pass to Jordan Lasley for 22 yards for a UCLA TOUCHDOWN. The Bruins went up 41-34 with 14:54 left in the 4th quarter.
ASU started their next drive the way you would expect, running the ball. Demario Richard rush to the middle for 13 yards to the ASU 40. ASU was put into a 3rd and 5 and Wilkins was sacked by Rick Wade and Jacob Tuioti-Mariner to force an ASU punt. Michael Sleep-Dalton punted for 35 yards, and Adarius Pickett had a nice return for 21 yards to UCLA 44.
UCLA was once again able to move the ball. Highlighted by a Josh Rosen pass to Theo Howard for 24 yards to the ASU 19. UCLA faced a huge 3rd and 6 and converted with a beautiful Jedd Fisch play call in which Jalen Starks ran a delayed draw for 7 yards to the ASU 8. The drive stalled at the ASU 3 yard line, but JJ Molson was able to convert on a 20 yard field goal to put the Bruins up 44-34 with 9:38 left in the 4th quarter.
ASU moved the ball down the field, but UCLA was able to hold ASU on a 4th and 9 play and took over on downs.
UCLA and Josh Rosen immediately dialed up a pass play to Jordan Lasley for 31 yards to the ASU 22. However, UCLA got -8 yards after that big pass play and UCLA acutally did not try a field goal attempt, instead they took a delay of game and punted. The good part, the pun hemmed ASU right up against their end-zone.
ASU came out running the ball to start their drive, and picked up a big 3rd and 3 play early in the drive. UCLA then forced ASU into a 4th and 4 and converted when two UCLA defenders could not make a play on the ball, and Manny Wilkins completed a pass to N'Keal Harry for 39 yards to the UCLA 11. The UCLA defense eventually held, and aided by some poor ASU play calling, ASU kicked a field goal.
ASU then lined up for the onside kick that was recovered by UCLA, and UCLA ran out the clock.
So now UCLA needs one more win to become bowl eligible, and I am not even sure what exactly that means for UCLA. Bowl eligible? I guess that can be a topic of discussion for this week. Wait, there will be no bowl discussion conversations this week because it’s that time of the year. It’s time to get ready for that other university that resides in Los Angeles.
Nice job Bruins!