Sunday, 12 November 2017 15:14

Bruins Race Past Sun Devils

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Lasley J111217

At the beginning, it looked like the Bruins weren’t going to hold serve in the Rose Bowl for the first time this season. The Sun Devils scored two, first-quarter touchdowns and were leading 14-0. ASU had the ball again with 1:23 left in the first frame when defensive lineman, Marcus Moore, climbed the ladder deflecting a Manny Wilkins pass where an alert Nate Meadors turned the deflection into a pick-six making the score 14-7 and the race was on.

When the dust had settled, UCLA (5-5, 3-4) remained undefeated at the Rose Bowl securing a 44-37 victory over Arizona State (5-5, 4-3).

“It was a good win, a tough win,” UCLA head coach Jim Mora said. “We had a lot of new guys playing on defense and doing a nice job. We’re 5-0 at home; now our objective is to go on the road and get a win.

“I’m really proud of those young men. They’re resilient, they have great character. Tonight they displayed tremendous energy and passion. They were pulling for each other, and it’s always fun to coach a group like that. I’m really proud of them and excited to get a win and get back to .500, and we’ve got a couple left, and we’re going to focus on the one in front of us.”

Josh Rosen returned to action after being on the shelf last week due to concussion protocol. He started out slow and was a victim of dropped passes. With just enough of a running game to keep the Sun Devil defense honest, Rosen and his receiving corps soon turned hot throwing to 10 different receivers for 381 yards and one touchdown.

“I’m obviously proud of him coming back off the injury and taking the shot to the face and leading the team to victory,” Mora said about Rosen. “But I'm proud of all those guys. They're all like Josh. There’s just a full team of guys who are gritty and tough and playing through pain and through adversity and stepping up when they have to.

“It has not been an easy season for us; we’ve been really good at home and struggled mightily on the road. We get one more chance on the road to try to come up with a great performance.”

The return of junior receiver Jordan Lasley after a three-game absence was also key in the Bruin victory. Lasley posted a career high of 162 receiving yards. He has reached the century mark six times during his career. His 22-yard fourth quarter touchdown was one of the nails in the Sun Devil coffin.

“It has been a tough road for Jordan,” Mora said. “College is about learning, growing up, maturing through difficult times and persevering and learning how to manage your life.

“Jordan has had some struggles. But he has persevered. He has come back after three weeks away from this football team with, in my opinion, a different perspective, a little bit of a different approach, a little bit of a different attitude and I was proud of him tonight. Not only for the plays that he made but for the control that he showed when he did make plays and for him to be able to play with passion but harness it, and for him to be able to play with emotion but not become very emotional.

“He’s [Lasley] a guy that we need. Without Caleb Wilson and Darren Andrews, we have lost a lot of yards. We lost a lot of yards that was sitting on the bench in casts and knee braces, so to have Jordan come back with the great attitude that he did and play the way that he did, it makes you feel really good. I’m proud of him and I’m going to stay all over his butt to make sure that he continues down this path.”

Not a lot of time for the Bruins to celebrate. If the Bruins are going to win for the first time this season on the road, it will be against Pac-12 South Division arch-rival, USC (9-2, 7-1) at the Memorial Coliseum. The kickoff is scheduled for 5:00 PM PST and will be televised by ABC.

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