Star working again Zach Charbonnet couldn’t play after testing his aching physique in warmups. Defensive coordinator Invoice McGovern stayed dwelling with a lingering sickness.
Additionally lacking Saturday night time at Solar Satan Stadium: the UCLA protection.
Say what you need concerning the Bruins’ sturdy working recreation and skill to shut out Arizona State after issues obtained greater than a bit horrifying, however the story line with the largest ramifications for the remainder of the season was that dreadful protection.
Listed here are 5 takeaways from No. 12 UCLA’s 50-36 overcome the Solar Devils:
Give the ‘D’ a D
UCLA might exhale solely after defensive again Jaylin Davies intercepted Arizona State quarterback Travis Bourguet’s remaining move ultimately zone with 15 seconds left.
There was no want for such desert drama.
The Bruins as soon as led 42-18 and appeared on cruise management, and possibly that was the issue. Their protection largely went via the motions whereas permitting the Solar Devils to attain 18 consecutive factors, closing to inside 42-36 after Bourquet accomplished a two-point conversion with 6:24 remaining.
“I think as a whole group on the defensive side of the ball, we need to tackle better,” UCLA coach Chip Kelly mentioned, stating the apparent.
Kelly wouldn’t speculate as as to whether McGovern would possibly return subsequent weekend when the Bruins face Arizona on the Rose Bowl, saying solely that he didn’t need his defensive coordinator to journey given his situation. McGovern had returned to follow earlier within the week after lacking the Stanford recreation.
Whoever is looking UCLA’s protection, they might want to determine some issues out. The Bruins can’t play like they did within the second half Saturday and count on to beat USC on Nov. 19, a lot much less win a significant bowl recreation in opposition to one other high-powered offense.
Not so sporting
Contributing to UCLA’s defensive meltdown have been a handful of useless penalties.
Edge rusher Gabriel Murphy and cornerback Azizi Hearn earned unsportsmanlike conduct penalties, and security Mo Osling III was referred to as for roughing the passer.
In a associated growth, Arizona State scored on each drive involving these penalties.
Making a run for it
Even with out Charbonnet, the Bruins’ working recreation lined extra floor than Forrest Gump on certainly one of his coast-to-coast jogs.
UCLA rolled up 402 speeding yards, its most since totaling 437 in opposition to Washington State in 2010. Profession highs have been in all places. Kazmeir Allen (137 yards), Dorian Thompson-Robinson (120), Keegan Jones (98) and Colson Yankoff (48) all logged the very best speeding numbers of their profession.
Solidifying his nickname because the “Kazmanian Devil,” Allen sprinted 75 yards for a third-quarter landing during which he almost picked up a block from Thompson-Robinson. Allen and Jones piled up yardage even after briefly limping off the sphere within the first half. Thompson-Robinson added two extra hurdles to his high-jumping legacy.
UCLA averaged 9.6 yards per carry and was capable of churn out the yardage it wanted on a remaining scoring drive regardless that its performs have been solely predictable. The Bruins ran on all seven performs, Yankoff lastly powering into the top zone on a one-yard run.
“When you can run the ball when people know you’re going to run the ball,” Kelly mentioned, “that’s critical.”
Thompson-Robinson accounted for 289 complete yards of offense (169 passing) and 4 touchdowns, transferring additional up the varsity report lists.
His 11,301 yards of complete offense overtook Cade McNown (11,285) for second place all-time at UCLA, trailing solely Brett Hundley (11,713). Thompson-Robinson mentioned his success working the ball was not a results of a shift in plans given Charbonnet’s absence however Arizona State’s tendency to focus its protection on the receivers and go away loads of working room.
Thompson-Robinson devised a plan along with his receivers and tight ends that allowed them to function decoys on a number of performs that resulted in lengthy runs for the quarterback.
“If you have a route and it’s man coverage, just run them down the field and they will stare at you in the face the whole time until you get down there,” Thompson-Robinson mentioned of his message to his teammates.
Transferring on up
Losses by Tennessee, Clemson and Alabama ought to vault UCLA into the highest 10 of the School Soccer Rankings, and the Bruins might have an opportunity to get rid of two extra groups from competition with victories over No. 9 USC on Nov. 19 and No. 8 Oregon within the Pac-12 Convention championship recreation.
Even so, the Bruins are going to wish some luck. A number of extra groups forward of them are going to wish to lose to present UCLA the chance to make school soccer’s remaining 4.