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ASU vs. UCLA Game Balls: Matt Haack, Kalen Ballage lead Sun Devil upset over UCLA

Arizona State marched into Pasadena on Saturday and proved that nobody is safe in the Pac 12 South. After rebounding tremendously from the shellacking at the hands of USC, the Sun Devils have a lot to be proud of and we have more game balls to give.

Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Five game balls to the Arizona State Sun Devils players after Saturday's win against the UCLA Bruins.

Matt Haack, P (No. 26) - Junior

The unsung hero of this game is Matt Haack. The lefty punter had five punts downed inside the 20, including his last punt that went out of bounds at the Bruins' 1-yard line. He averaged just over 43 yards per punt and constantly put UCLA on the other side of the field when the Sun Devils were forced to punt.

It's been years since ASU had a punter who could help win the battle of field position, and it looks like Haack has emerged as a legitimate weapon on special teams.

Kallen Ballage, RB (No. 9) - Sophomore

Ballage literally put the team on his back to end the game — check that, he put both teams on his back on his way to the endzone. Todd Graham and Mike Norvell seem to still be easing him back into the offense by giving him 11 carries this game, but he averaged 5.4 yards a carry that wasbolstered by that Beast Mode-esque run late in the game.

That run alone deserves a game ball and expect to see more runs like this throughout the rest of Ballage's career.

Tim White, WR (No. 12) - Redshirt Junior

The speedster, junior college transfer is quickly becoming a fan favorite in Tempe. White reminds me a lot of Rudy Burgess, a versatile weapon that can take kick returns deep into enemy territory, make guys miss in the open field as a receiver and take handoffs around the end.

He finished the win with five catches for 42 yards and a touchdown, but he really hurt the Bruins with long kick returns finishing with 129 returns yards on three attempts including a 63-yard return where he fumbled the ball, failed to pick it up cleanly and still managed to return it to the UCLA 31-yard line. That big return led to a ASU field goal and an early 9-0 lead. White is a threat any time he's on the field and will continue to make highlight plays.

Demario Richard, RB (No. 4) - Sophomore

Richard has been the most consistent weapon on offense this season and he continued his solid play with 89 yards rushing and 55 receiving yards out of the backfield.

He didn't have any real highlight plays this game but remains a steady force to pound the ball with for ASU. The one play that did stand out, though, was when he a caught a pass by Mike Bercovici and got drilled by a UCLA defender. Richard didn't even budge and stayed on his feet. He showed in this game that he can hurt defenses in the passing game as well on screens. I keep thinking of a comparison to Maurice Jones-Drew and Doug Martin when I watch Richard play.

The Front-seven

When you can hold a running back like Paul Perkins to 63 yards on 18 rushes, everybody deserves a game ball. Not only did the front-seven hold Perkins, a legitimate Heisman candidate, but they pressured Josh Rosen throughout the game making the freshman make some critical mistakes. Credit to everybody in the front-seven who really won this game for ASU. If they don't have a performance like this, the entire complexity of the game would have been different and the optimism from Sun Devil Nation might not have been as high.

Next for ASU is the Colorado Buffaloes in Tempe, but then they travel to Salt Lake City and play the highest rated team in the conference in the Utah Utes. If the Sun Devils limit Devontae Booker like they did with Paul Perkins, they might just have a shot at stealing one from the Utes in Utah.