Thursday, November 3, 2011
UCLA can't hold on loosely against ASU
By Peter Yoon
Ball security is going to be of utmost importance for UCLA against Arizona State, no so much because the Bruins have been turnover prone, but because the Sun Devils have been so good at forcing turnovers this season.
Arizona State is fourth in the nation with 25 forced turnovers. They are tied for the national lead with 12 fumbles recovered and are seventh in the nation with 13 interceptions.
"They’re aggressive," coach Rick Neuheisel said. "There’s lots of stripping where they just reach in and flat take it from you. They are certainly fast with great pass rush that can force a ball thrown a little early and they’ve been ball hawks in the back end."
Safety Clint Floyd is the chief thief with three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Alden Darby, another safety, also has three interceptions and has recovered a fumble. UCLA this season has lost 10 fumbles, which is tied for 105th in the nation, so that is a major concern for Neuheisel.
"I just watched the end of the [Arizona St. vs.] USC game and that was the difference in the game were the turnovers," Neuheisel said. "Especially down in the red zone. So it’s going to be a key for our chance at success to take care of the football."