Home » Blog » Arizona State meets UCLA for Pac-12 South Title

Arizona State meets UCLA for Pac-12 South Title

The title for the Pac-12 South division will be on the line Saturday when the Arizona State Sun Devils visit the UCLA Bruins. For the past two seasons, UCLA has represented the South division in the championship game of the Pac-12, but ASU hopes to change that this season. The defensive play will be the key to this matchup.

Arizona must protect its quarterback Taylor Kelly from the strong UCLA defensive rush.

The talented quarterback for the Sun Devils has had two subpar games back to back averaging just 163 yards passing per game, when he averaged over 358 per game during August and September. Without a strong output from Kelly, the Sun Devils will find it hard to defeat UCLA.

Arizona State nevertheless has a strong contingent of weapons on offense. However, of late the offense has been stopped by opposing defenses.

If the Sun Devils cannot open the offense, get passes downfield and throw in running plays to keep the Bruins off balance, it will be a long game for Arizona State.

Look for big games from Marion Grice, D.J. Foster and Jaelen Strong to help keep the UCLA offense off balance.

On defense, the Sun Devils need to create turnovers to stop potential scoring drives by UCLA. Last Saturday, Arizona State forced Oregon State into five turnovers in their win over the Beavers.

This weekend, ASU needs the same play from their defense to take the crowd out of the game and put the Bruins back on their haunches.

UCLA must limit its penalties if they hope to win and reach the Pac-12 championship game for the third straight season. The Bruins lead the conference in penalties and are 11th in the nation. This game will be dictated by how many penalties are NOT committed by UCLA.

Offensively, the Bruins must establish a running game and use the talents of Myles Jack. The freshman, who played linebacker to start the season, is now a two-way player at running back. In the past two games for UCLA, he has 179 rushing yards and five touchdowns.

If Jack can dominate the running game, the Bruins will move up and down the field with their talented quarterback Brett Hundley calling the plays. It will also take time off the clock and keep the up-tempo offense of ASU on the sidelines.

Both schools are among the best in scoring from the red zone, but UCLA must finish better than ASU if they hope to win.

The game will come down to Hundley and Jack for UCLA and Kelly, Grice and the many weapons for ASU.

I like UCLA to come out in workman like fashion and roll to a win with a strong rushing attack complimented by fine passing from Hundley.

Pick: UCLA 38-35

  • 100%