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Saturday, October 27, 2012
Instant analysis: UCLA 45, Arizona St. 43

By Peter Yoon

For the second consecutive year, a game between the UCLA Bruins and Arizona State Sun Devils came down to a field goal attempt at the final gun, but this time UCLA’s Ka'imi Fairbairn drilled a 33-yard attempt and the Bruins won 45-43 in a Pac-12 game in Tempe, Ariz.

Last year, Arizona State missed a field goal at the gun and UCLA held on for a 29-28 victory at the Rose Bowl.

A quick recap:

It was over when: Fairbairn’s 33-yard field goal split the uprights. The game was a seesaw battle during which Arizona State jumped out to a 14-0 lead before UCLA rallied for a 21-17 halftime lead. The Bruins extended their lead to 35-26 midway through the third, but the Sun Devils rallied back and took a 43-42 lead on a touchdown with 1:33 to play. UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley drove the team 65 yards in 12 plays to set up Fairbairn’s winning score.

Game ball goes to: Johnathan Franklin had 164 yards and two touchdowns rushing, including 62 yards on seven carries in the fourth quarter. His tough, 3-yard run on third-and-2 kept alive the final drive, then he had a 7-yard run on the final play from scrimmage to get Fairbairn into field goal range. Franklin came up 21 yards short of the school’s career rushing record, but he’ll surely eclipse that next week.

Key stat: Hundley had 274 yards and four touchdowns passing against an Arizona State defense that entered the game ranked No. 1 in the nation against the pass. No opposing quarterback had passed for more than 198 yards in Arizona State’s first seven games, and Hundley was the first quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns in a game against the Sun Devils.

What it means: The Bruins remain in control of their own destiny in the Pac-12 South race, trailing USC by a half-game with a Nov. 17 matchup against the Trojans on the horizon. It also shows that the Bruins are indeed turning a corner by winning a tough game on the road against a good conference opponent -- something they hadn’t been able to do over the past decade. The Bruins also became bowl eligible.