The week after that loss, Arizona State went to Los Angeles and picked up a critical road victory over USC, a game that ended with Mike Bercovici’s Hail Mary pass to Jaelen Strong. Interestingly, in all three games against Arizona State since Mora has been at UCLA, the Bruins have been outgained by between 40 and 50 yards. Fortunately, the ground game has improved for the Sun Devils as Demario Richard has recorded three straight 100-yard rushing performances with two touchdowns in each contest, and backup Kalen Ballage returned last week after missing the first three games with mononucleosis.TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX.
“We gotta play our best game and we know that”, Graham said. Overall, the defensive backs have done well so far; numerous passes that Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici has completed have been undefendable passes.
Doug Keith: As much as I hate to say ASU needs to win this one.
The Sun Devils have struggled in so many different areas. We’ve been in situations where we started to talk about it and got hit in the mouth the next week. “It’s there. I really see it and I think it’s coming”.
However, neither team looked its best for a considerable portion of the half.
Granted, UCLA is decimated at linebacker so perhaps this is the week that Norvell’s offense gets rolling. An offense averaging 36 points per game is keeping the pressure off that defense. Defensively, the ASU staff has brought up how balanced UCLA is so stopping the run and forcing Rosen to beat them is key. The Sun Devils are tied for 98th (out of 127 FBS programs) in turnover margin at minus-3. If this game were lined before the season started, UCLA might only be favored by four or five points. “They have an explosive football team so we’ll have to understand how they will attack us”.
Unbalance the Bruins: ASU coach Todd Graham emphasized several times that UCLA is a balanced offense that is equally effective running (233.8 yards per game) or passing (248.2) the ball.
Gonzalez made sure the turnover didn’t go entirely to waste, making a 25 yard field goal to give the maroon and gold a 15-7 advantage.
LB Kenny Young: The sophomore called UCLA’s defense at Arizona “embarrassing”, putting the onus on himself to not miss tackles. At that point, people left their seats in droves, hoping to escape traffic and get home in time to catch a better game. While freshman quarterback Josh Rosen has been impressive, running back Paul Perkins has led the way for the Bruins with 514 rushing yards and six scores in four games this season. And last week, they were again outgained by over a yard per play against USC; saving a few face statistically (455 total yards) by picking up yards during garbage time. This is a unit that has lost starters in defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, linebacker Myles Jack and cornerback Fabian Moreau – each of whom has National Football League potential.
WR D.J. Foster: Averaged 136 yards from scrimmage last season, but has fallen to 75 through his first four games as a senior. It’s just adding another year to his deal with I believe a $200,000 raise.