The defacing of ASU’s spear on the field, to don the UCLA moniker, might have been foreshadowing for what was to come for the Sun Devils.
A security guard stood his ground and protected the fork until the game started, and they might not have gotten the beating if he had stayed there all game.
Ishmael Adams gave UCLA a boost with a 95-yard interception return for a touchdown just before halftime and followed with a 100-yard kickoff return for another score in the third quarter, sparking the 11th-ranked Bruins to a 62-27 rout against No. 15 Arizona State on Thursday night.
"“We thought it was kind of funny that were scrambling to cover it up so fast,” UCLA receiver Thomas Duarte said. “When something like that happens, you know you’ve got the edge, that they’re letting little things get under their skin.”"
UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) won its first three games by a combined 18 points against non-ranked opponents, raising questions about just how good the Bruins are this season.
They provided an emphatic answer — at least on offense — by turning a matchup of the past two Pac-12 South champions into a rout, scoring 28 points during a 7-minute span of the second and third quarters.
UCLA had 582 yards of total offense, five plays of 80 yards or longer and scored the most points in the 55-year-history of Sun Devil Stadium.
The catalyst for UCLA was Brett Hundley, who just returned from a left arm injury, which came in “army” when he dived for first downs, hurdle defenders and complete passes all over the field. He threw for 355 yards and four touchdowns on an efficient 18-of-23 passing, including an 80-yard score to Jordan Payton to open the second half.
"“It’s an absolute inspiration to offense, defense and special teams for him to not just play, but to be out jumping over guys and diving on the ground,” UCLA defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich said."
The downside for the Bruins was the defense.
ASU ran 105 plays and gained 626 yards against the young Bruins’ defense.
The problem for the Sun Devils was a few of their faults were exposed, too.
Mike Bercovici was brilliant in replacing injured Taylor Kelly. He threw for 488 yards and three touchdowns in his first start while setting school records with 42 completions on 68 attempts. But it wasn’t all positive, he earned his name of “Turnovici” as he turned the ball over and threw two interceptions, losing a fumble that led to a UCLA touchdown.
"“That was embarrassing. It was a frustrating night,” Arizona State coach Todd Graham said. “The standard that we set here was not met tonight.”"
Bercovici had been waiting for this chance since Kelly beat him out as Arizona State’s starter in 2012.
ASU will take on the USC Trojans on October 4th and will attempt to redeem themselves after last night’s game.
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