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Despite the positive result, it was another mixed performance for UCLA against the Arizona State. For every long run or deep passing play they acheived, the Bruins seemed to shoot themselves in the foot with a costly mistake.
After an impressive first drive that ended in an 11-yard Johnanthan Franklin touchdown run, kicker Tyler Gonzalez missed the PAT.
After confidently moving down the field with a 23-21 lead early in the fourth quarter, Franklin fumbled the ball away. His gaffe was the first of four times the Bruins put the ball on the turf in the final quarter. ASU would eventually score to take a 28-23 advantage.
And then there were those final two drives to end regulation, one for each team.
UCLA’s journey downfield contained two fumbles, an offensive pass interference call, a 3rd-and-29, a one-yard Derrick Coleman TD run and a failed two-point conversion. At the end of it, UCLA found themselves up 29-28 with 49 seconds to go.
Arizona State’s answering drive was possibly more improbable. Starting from their own 24 with one timeout, QB Brock Osweiler missed two receivers before converting a third and 10 to Gerell Robinson. Robinson, as he was going down with the catch, threw the ball out-of-bounds in an effort to stop the clock.
That would have been a penalty for an illegal forward pass, but was reviewed and subsequently overturned as Robinson was ruled down before he tossed the ball. The result: no penalty, and ASU got the timeout back that they had used to prevent clock runoff.
The very next play, UCLA CB Aaron Hester was mysteriously called for pass interference on a pass that looked to be uncatchable. Now at the Bruin 41, Osweiler completed one more pass to bring their kicker within range.
The rest is history. Alex Garoutte missed low from 46, and the Bruins hung on to win after all that drama. It was Garoutte's third miss of the game.
At times, the Bruins played brilliantly. For the second straight week, the pistol offense worked well enough to give UCLA an identity offensively, something they’ve lacked for years. Kevin Prince’s 76-yard TD pass to open the second half was the longest scoring passing play for the program since 2007. He eclipsed it with a 33-yard completion on third and 29 (also to Nelson Rosario) during the final drive.
At other times, UCLA fans could only cringe as the team seemed to give the game away. The home side was penalized eight times for 75 yards, many of which came after big plays.
The Bruins emerged with an upset, but only just.