After coming off a brutal loss against the Utah Utes, the Arizona State Sun Devils will continue on the road to Pasadena, California where they will meet the UCLA Bruins. The Sun Devils are going in ranked No. 24 after dropping seven spots with their loss.
The Bruins are currently 2-5 on the season, but are 0-3 at home so far. Last year, the Sun Devils beat the Bruins 31-28 in Tempe.
Let’s take a look at the Bruins:
Finding their go-to receiver
Bruins’ quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is back for his second game in a row after missing the game against Oregon State due to a leg injury.
In their win against Stanford, Thompson-Robinson threw for 192 passing yards and two touchdowns. Thompson-Robinson even ran the ball 13 times for 66 yards. He is continuing to prove that he belongs in the starting QB position, despite throwing seven interceptions already this season.
The redshirt freshman receiver Kyle Philips is also becoming one of Thompson-Robinson’s main targets.
He had his best game so far this season against Stanford with 100 yards receiving and two touchdowns. The Bruins have been searching for this type of receiver all season. Philips was responsible for 47.6 percent of Thompson-Robinson’s completions.
Running back Joshua Kelley has only rushed for 100 yards twice this season, against Arizona and Stanford. He has five touchdowns on the season. Kelley is averaging 95.2 yards per game and 5.9 yards per carry.
Defense is starting to find their groove
The Bruins’ defense recorded a season-high seven sacks last week in their win against Stanford. Heading into week seven, the Bruins were only averaging 1.5 sacks per game.
Last week, true freshman QB Jayden Daniels saw what it was like to receive pressure in the pocket and there wasn’t much success when he was pressured. What adjustments will the Sun Devils make in order to protect Daniels from getting sacked?
Opponents matching up with the Bruins this season are averaging 34.57 points per game. The Sun Devils only put up three points last week against the Utes after scoring 38 the previous week against the Washington State Cougars.
Last season, the Bruins defense gave up average of 207.8 rushing yards per game. That number has dropped this season in which the Bruins are now only allowing their opponents an average of 147.3 yards per game.
The defense has seen a switch after the team’s first six games of the season. Before their matchup against Stanford, they were giving up an average of 503 total offensive yards.
They held the Cardinal offense to only 143 receiving yards and didn’t allow any touchdowns through the air. In their loss to the Utes, the Sun Devil offense had 136 total offensive yards with no touchdowns.
The key for this Bruins defense is to contain running back Eno Benjamin’s run game. Benjamin has over 600 yards rushing so far this season and has ran for over 100 yards in four out of the Sun Devils’ seven games.