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ASU Football: ASU vs. UCLA Instant Recap

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Survival on senior day

UCLA v Arizona State Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images

The Arizona State Sun Devils took home the victory 31-28 over the UCLA Bruins to complete senior day on Saturday.

The Sun Devils got the ball first, their drive seemed to be breezing to a touchdown. Taking up a ton of time off the clock, ASU found themselves at UCLA’s 14-yard line. However, a false start called on redshirt junior guard Alex Losoya halted the drive. After starting first-and-15 from the 19-yard line, ASU only gained three yards leading to a 34-yard field goal from sophomore Brandon Ruiz.

UCLA came out hot as well on offense. Graduate transfer Wilton Speight completed two straight passes to redshirt junior tight end Caleb Wilson for a combined 28 yards. The biggest play came on a end-around from junior wide receiver Theo Howard that went for 26 yards and put the Bruins within ASU’s six-yard line. Redshirt junior running back Joshua Kelley punched it in from the two yards out to make it 7-3 Bruins.

The Bruins got the ball back after an ASU punt, they drove again with ease until a sack by redshirt freshman linebacker Tyler Johnson. A big play from Wilson and Kelley got the first down, erasing the yards lost on a the sack. Chip Kelly then decided to go for it on fourth-and-1, Kelley got no where on the rush and ASU got the ball back.

The momentum shifted back to the Sun Devils, they got their first touchdown of the day from a 13-yard touchdown run from redshirt senior quarterback Manny Wilkins on a read-option play. The biggest play of the drive was a screen to junior wide receiver N’Keal Harry that went for 39 yards with an additional 13 added on after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty.

After junior kicker JJ Molson missed a 44-yard field goal attempt, ASU didn’t take advantage, in fact it went very bad for the Sun Devils. Wilkins tried to find Harry on a slant route, sophomore cornerback Darnay Holmes picked it off and returned it 31 yards for the pick-six. UCLA led 14-10 with 4:36 left in the half.

Wilkins bounced back the next drive, he found redshirt sophomore wide receiver Frank Darby for a 18-yard on the sideline, then redshirt junior Kyle Williams got 17 yards most coming after the catch. Inside the red zone Wilkins then hit redshirt junior former linebacker — fullback Nick Ralston for the touchdown to put the Sun Devils back on top heading into halftime.

UCLA looked to be in a prime position to score to open the second half, freshman linebacker Merlin Robertson was called for targeting on a hit on Speight who completed a 32-yard pass to Wilson. However, later in the drive freshman defensive end Jermayne Lole tipped the ball and into the hands of redshirt sophomore cornerback Chase Lucas for the pick.

Sophomore running back Eno Benjamin took off for a 41-yard run, followed by runs of 12 and 14 that helped break the ASU record for most rushing yards in a single season. Benjamin then got the touchdown a few plays later to make the game 24-14 in ASU’s favor.

Speight made up for the pick on the next drive leading to a two minute touchdown drive. The quarterback completed all five of his passes for 70 yards on the drive including the 33-yard touchdown pass to Wilson to pull within three points again.

ASU then put together their longest drive of the season in the fourth quarter taking over eight minutes to score a touchdown to go up 31-21. Wilkins snuck in from the one-yard line, ASU rushed the ball 14 of the 15 plays between rushes from Wilkins and Benjamin. The one pass was to Williams for a gain of 27.

Speight with under four minutes left in the game lead a quick drive with multiple chuck plays to redshirt senior wide receiver Christian Pabico. A pass interference call on Lucas brought the Bruins inside the red zone. Speight then hit Wilson for a another touchdown from 10 yards out to make it 31-28 with 1:57 left.

ASU got the onside kick attempt with Williams on the recovery. The Sun Devils however went three-and-out.

The Bruins looked to be driving again, but a sack from Johnson and a group of penalties on UCLA killed the comeback hope.

Harry led ASU in receiving with 100 yards on 7 catches, Benjamin finished with 182 yards and a touchdown. The leading Sun Devil tackler was freshman safety Cam Phillips with seven.

The Sun Devils will now travel to Eugene to face the Ducks, game time to be determined later.