Pac-12 Hopes Dwindle for ASU and Bowl Eligibility in Jeopardy After Loss at UCLA
By Harley Yearout // Football Beat Writer for Blaze Sports
PASADENA, CA – Arizona State is still searching for bowl eligibility after a 44-37 loss at UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.
The Sun Devils jumped out to a 14-0 lead early, but couldn’t manage an offensive touchdown in the second half.
The lone touchdown for Arizona State in second half came on a scoop-and-score by freshman running back Eno Benjamin on a blocked punt with 2:03 left third quarter.
Senior running back Demario Richard followed personal best performance last week against Colorado with a 125 yard outing on 21 attempts with a TD against UCLA this week.
Arizona State as a whole ran the ball effectively, tallying 294 yards as a team in the loss.
Redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins threw for 290 yards and a touchdown in the air. Wilkins also added 35 yards on the ground with a highlight real rushing touchdown as well.
UCLA junior quarterback Josh Rosen returned from injury Saturday night and looked impressive. Rosen threw for 381 yards and a touchdown, despite missing his number one target in redshirt senior Darren Andrews.
Redshirt junior wide receiver Jordan Lasley stepped up in his place, and lead the Bruins with 162 receiving yards and a touchdown.
UCLA junior running back Bolu Olorunfunmi would also get in the mix, adding 79 yards and a touchdown of his own as well.
Arizona State took a 14-0 lead early in the contest. Wilkins threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to freshman wide receiver N’Keal
Harry to give Arizona State its first score of the game. Richard added a 2-yard touchdown run shortly after, but the Bruins responded. Wilkins would have a pass deflected and intercepted by Bruins defensive back Nate Meadors, who then took the pick to the house to make it 14-7 with a 1:23 left in the first.
Rosen then tied the game with a touchdown rush of his own, but Wilkins answered with a 16-yard touchdown run to give ASU a 21-14 lead. That was the last offensive touchdown ASU would get in the game.
From then on, ASU was outscored 30-16.
Rosen went 15-20 passing in the second half to rally the Bruins against the Arizona State defense. Rosen would finish the game 25-45 for 381 yards with a TD and one interception.
ASU out-gained the Bruins 328-279 in the second half and 584-573 for the game, but the Sun Devils went 4-11 on third down compared to UCLA’s 4-8 in the half.
The standout statistic was ASU’s rushing numbers by half. The Sun Devils rushed for 201 yards in the first half, but only 91 yards in the second half.
Arizona State will go for its sixth win, and bowl eligibility, next week on the road against Oregon State.
Harley Yearout is a reporter for Blaze Sports. You can reach out to him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Harley on Twitter @HarleyYearout