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ASU vs. UCLA: Sun Devils lead Bruins 21-20 after action packed first half

It’s been high scoring to say the least.

NCAA Football: Arizona State at UCLA Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

PASADENA — The Arizona State Sun Devils (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) led the UCLA Bruins (4-5, 2-4) by a score of 21-20 at halftime on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl.

UCLA had a chance to score on its first drive after Eldridge Massington sparked a 39-yard run into Sun Devil territory on just the second play of the game. But it ended in a 36-yard missed field goal by JJ Molson.

The Sun Devils and Bruins then traded scoreless drives before ASU lit up the scoreboard.

Starting from the 50-yard line, through a mix of passes and runs, Demario Richard carried the ball three times for 30 yards to get ASU rolling to the 7-yard line before Manny Wilkins found N’Keal Harry in the back of the end zone. ASU took a 7-0 lead with eight and a half minutes remaining in the first quarter.

The Bruins then took over on offense, Josh Rosen was picked off by Chad Adams on the drive’s second play at the ASU 37-yard line.

ASU then took 12 plays roughly four and a half minutes to score again whrn Richard rumbled into the end zone on a 2-yard carry. The Sun Devils led 14-0 with three and a half minutes to play in the first quarter.

After two ASU scores and a UCLA turnover, the Bruins finally woke up.

UCLA defensive back Nate Meadors intercepted Wilkins’ pass and scored on a 26-yard pick six. The Bruins cut the lead to 14-7 with just over a minute to go in the first quarter.

Momentum then took another toll on the Sun Devils, as UCLA scored again.

In just over a minute and a half, the Bruins drove 73 yards to tie up the game. The drive escalated quickly when Chase Lucas was called for pass interference on a deep pass. One play later, Christian Pabico caught a 30-yard pass before Bolu Olorunfunmi raced for 23 yards. Then, Rosen ran for a 1-yard touchdown, tying the game at 14-14 with about 12 and a half minutes left in the second quarter.

One drive after, an ASU lead was regained.

Wilkins hurdled, once again, over a UCLA defender and into the end zone on a 16-yard run to put the Sun Devils up 21-14 with just under eight minutes left in the first half.

UCLA then struck back after Rosen connected with Jordan Lasley 59 yards on a shot from the UCLA 24-yard line to the ASU 17. A short run and two missed pass attempts later, JJ Molson then nailed a 31-yard field goal, inching UCLA closer, 21-17, midway through the second quarter.

After an ASU three-and-out, the Bruins scored consecutively. This time from 38 yards out, as Molson nailed another field goal. UCLA trailed 21-20 with just under four minutes left in the half.

With 38 seconds left, the Sun Devils drove 29 yards to the UCLA 26-yard before Brandon Ruiz missed a 44-yard field goal to end the half.