PASADENA, Calif. — The UCLA Bruins (6-4, 3-4 Pac-12) put together their worst game of the year as they surprisingly fall to Arizona State (3-7, 2-5 Pac-12), 17-7.
In a game where it looked like neither of the teams wanted to win this game it was the Sun Devils, not the Bruins who found a way to win.
Both teams were dealing with injuries to their top quarterbacks and it showed.
It was a snooze fest throughout especially for Bruin fans who didn’t see their favorite team score until the fourth quarter when surprising starting quarterback Collin Schlee throw a 16-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Logan Loya.
Schlee was starting due to the injuries of Dante Moore & Ethan Garbers who both dressed as emergency options.
“They’re getting better. They didn’t take, really, many snaps at all this week. They are both working through things,” said coach Chip Kelly. “The decision was made by our medical staff that the best decision was to not play those guys.”
Schlee struggled throughout the game, he finished the game 11 for 17 for only 117 yards and one touchdown. Schlee more of a running quarterback did finish the game with 51 rushing yards.
“I think Collin fought. Collin is a competitor. He did some really good things. But I think that it’s on us as coaches. We have got to put Collin in better situations to make plays,” said coach Kelly
The Bruins got inside the red zone twice in the first half, but came up empty. UCLA running back Carson Steele was denied the end zone on a fourth-and-goal run up the middle at the Arizona State 1. On the next drive, Steele again was held for no gain, this time on fourth-and-1 at the Sun Devils 9.
Using a variety of different formations, Arizona State kept the Bruins defense off balance all night.
Arizona State went to a swinging gate formation often and had one play during the first half that was a combination of a swinging gate and flying wedge formations.
“I think it caught us off guard a little bit, but as the game progressed, we caught on ourselves. With any game, as a defensive player you have to just wait and react to see what the offense is going to do,” said senior defensive back Alex Johnson. You’ve got to give them credit and they came out in a lot of funky formations – a lot of chaos and it caused us a little bit of trouble. Just something we’ve got to work on.”
UCLA were hoping to make a comeback late down 10-7 in the fourth but shot themselves in the foot when after a stop on third down. But a personal foul after the whistle gave the Sun Devils an extended drive which they finished with a touchdown to put the game away.
“I did not see what happened. I just saw the flag down. And then I heard on the headset that we had knocked their player down,” said coach Kelly. “But I did not see what transpired before that or after that. That hurts. That is on us and you cannot do that, especially in a tight football game like that.”
After this surprising loss, UCLA now looks to get back to .500 in the Pac-12 next week as they will face-off against crosstown rival, USC.