Pac-12: Paul Unga
Posted by ESPN.com's Ted Miller
Help me out here -- was Arizona State's 34-9 victory over UCLA an ugly game or one of the greatest defensive performances ... ever?
Four defensive touchdowns? Again, are you kidding me?
|AP Photo/Paul Connors|
|Linebacker Travis Goethe returns an interception for a touchdown against UCLA Friday night.|
Said to myself sitting on my sofa: Don't think I've seen this before.
I was right. The Sun Devils four defensive touchdowns tied the major college record set in 1987, when Houston returned four interceptions for touchdowns against Texas.
Watching the ASU offense, on the other hand, made my head hurt. Has a team ever scored 34 points with just 122 total yards?
Boos from the Sun Devil Stadium crowd for senior quarterback Rudy Carpenter, playing his final home game, didn't seem fair. It was poetic injustice. Dude's done a lot in his career and he deserved a better finale.
Would have never guessed, though, that Carpenter, on his 42nd consecutive start, would complete just 13 of 26 for 101 yards with no touchdowns and an interception.
At least he's not Kevin Craft. He's thrown 12 picks in his last four games with no touchdowns.
Wow. That's not good.
When Craft went back to pass, well, it was hard to turn away -- just like it's hard to turn away from news of another celebrity's public implosion.
ASU safety Troy Nolan went 100 yards for his pick-six. Linebackers Travis Goethel and Mike Nixon also went yard, while linebacker Paul Unga got a gift when -- while everyone else just stood around assuming the play was over -- he picked up a loose ball and sorta jogged in for a score.
UCLA outgained ASU 306 yards to 122 and had eight more first downs but lost by 25.
And Arizona State, despite a six-game losing streak this season, can earn bowl eligibility if it manages to win at Arizona next weekend.
Guessing the Wildcats' defense won't be terribly afraid of the Sun Devils' O.
And quarterback Willie Tuitama isn't likely to gift 28 points -- the fumble-return touchdown began with a Craft fumble -- to the Sun Devils' D.
Of course, stranger things have happened, right?
Craft and UCLA? They get to face the USC defense next.