Saturday, November 5, 2011
Grades: UCLA 29, Arizona State 28
By Peter Yoon
The numbers won't knock off your socks, but Kevin Prince was efficient and made some clutch plays through the air. A 76-yard touchdown to Nelson Rosario and a 33-yard pass to Rosario on third and 29 on the game winning drive were crucial plays in the game. Prince was 11 of 17 for 196 yards and, perhaps more importantly, did not have a pass intercepted
The ability to mix up the attack with different looks played a major role in the Bruins' ground attack. Derrick Coleman, Kevin Prince and Johnathan Franklin each had 13 carries or more and UCLA had 220 yards rushing. Colemans power game produced 119 yards, two touchdowns and several key first downs. A couple of fumbles keep this from being an A.
IN THE TRENCHES
Another solid performance by the offensive line in the run game, especially against a very physical Arizona State defense. Pass protection was an issue at times with Prince getting sacked four times, but it held when it most needed to. The defensive front wasn't as good as it was a week ago and struggled stopping the run, but hurried ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler enough to disrupt him.
Last week, UCLA won because of its defense, but this week the offense carried the day. The Bruins gave up 465 total yards and Sun Devils running back Cameron Marshall had 168 yards rushing. Missed tackles and marginal third-down defense again haunted UCLA. Arizona State missed field goals of 48, 36 and 46 yards otherwise the result would have been much different, but at least the defense held he Sun Devils to field goal attempts.
Punter Jeff Locke continues to amaze with his ability to put the ball inside the 10. He did it three times Saturday, forcing Arizona State to go long distances on offense all the while playing with a slightly separated houlder. Josh Smith had a 78-yard kickoff return and Tyler Gonzalez made a 43-yard field goal, though he also missed an extra point.
Offensive coordinator Mike Johnson called an excellent game, mixing runs and using play action for big gains. Defensively, the Bruins were maybe a bit too focused on stopping the pass and got burned by the run at times. Still, the coaches get a lot of credit for getting the team to believe it could play with a first-place, top-20 team.