Catch and Release — Ishmael Adams’ 95-yard Interception Return TD and 105-yard Kickoff Return TD, plus 5 TD’s by Brett Hundley — including 2 80-yard TD passes — sink the Trident-carrying Sun Devils, as #11 UCLA reels off 28 straight points and reels in its 4th win in a row, 62-27
Holy Mackerel! The Bruins have finally landed, back on their lofty perch. While many crabby people around the Country had bought the “UCLA is floundering” school of thought hook, line, and sinker, others were angling for a different reality, and singing a different tuna: That it was just a matter of time before Jim Mora’s UCLA “full-to-the-gills-with-talent” team would surface, scale the mountain, dig deep into their soles and produce a pearl, play with porpoise, flex their mussels, reel-lize their full potential and put together a whale of a game. On Thursday night in Tempe, it wasn’t perfect, but now the naysayers should clam up for a while, and stop spouting their (a)balone, after UCLA filleted Arizona State 62-27.
The Bruins started slow, falling behind 17-6 due to a tentative, porous Defense and a mistake-prone Offense. The Bruins were committing too many penalties to get any momentum, while ASU, led by their 2nd-string QB, got into the end zone twice, both on passes. The second one was right over Fabian Moreau and Jaleel Wadood, and it looked like the Sun Devils wouldn’t miss their Star QB, who was out with a Foot Injury. But when the Bruins fell down by 11 — at the start of the 2nd Quarter — that’s when everything changed, and the UCLA that was ranked #7 before the season started, suddenly appeared.
The Bruins exploded for 21 straight points in the quarter, starting with a short pass by Brett Hundley to Eldridge Massington, on which the defenders collided and Massington was able to flee 80 yards to paydirt. The Bruin Defense also stepped it up a little, as Anthony Jefferson — with his back to the passer — miraculously snatched a pass out of the hands of a Receiver for a remarkable Interception. Hundley almost capitalized with a bomb to a wide-open Massington, but the ball was just ever-so-slightly overthrown. The Bruin Defense stayed strong, though, and aided by a dropped 3rd down pass, forced ASU’s first punt (ASU dropped several balls on the night — can’t blame THAT on the back-up QB). On the ensuing drive, a 17-yard run by Paul Perkins, a long pass completion to Thomas Duarte, and a scramble by Hundley put the Bruins in striking range. The drive was culminated by a play from the Myles Jack formation, where Jack was a decoy, and Nate Iese got open for the short TD toss (just like in the Texas game). The score gave the Bruins their first lead at 20-17.
ASU got the ball back and marched down the field with time running out in the 1st Half, and was in range to tie or take the lead back, when Ishmael Adams snagged an errant pass (this one you CAN blame on the back-up QB), and traversed the field all the way to a 95-yard Pick-6. So instead of ASU being tied or ahead at the break, UCLA was up 27-17. When Mora’s team has had the lead at the Intermission, Continue Reading »