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Arizona State clinches Pac-12 South with win over UCLA

Arizona State v UCLA Getty Images

Taylor Kelly threw for 226 yards and ran for 97 to lead No. 17 Arizona State to a 38-33 victory over No. 14 UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Saturday night.

With the win, ASU (9-2 overall, 7-1 in the Pac-12) clinched the Pac-12 South title. The Sun Devils will play Stanford in Palo Alto on Dec. 7. UCLA falls to  8-3 overall and 5-3 in conference.

The game was a tale of two halves. ASU jumped out to a 35-13 halftime lead as Kelly rushed for a score and passed for another, while linebacker Carl Bradford intercepted a Brett Hundley pass and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

The Bruins stormed back, outscoring ASU, 20-3, in the second half as Hundley got hot. The sophomore finished with 253 passing yards on 18 of 26 passing with two touchdowns and one pick. Erstwhile linebacker/running back Myles Jack ran for 86 yards and scored a touchdown for the third-straight game to lead the Bruins.

Marion Grice had 95 rushing yards and 72 receiving yards to put up another solid all-purpose effort for the Sun Devils. Receiver Jaelen Strong had six catches for a game-high 91 yards.

As a result of this win, the Sun Devils have won six straight games and will now make their first trip to the Pac-12 title game. Who would’ve thought that ASU could conceivably finish the season ranked ahead of both Stanford and Oregon? It’s a testament to the job that head coach Todd Graham has done in his time at Tempe, as he has led ASU to its first nine-win season since 2007.

Today also marked the official end of the Pac-12’s title hopes, as ASU, Stanford and Oregon all have two losses. What looked like a promising season for the conference just a couple weeks ago has fallen apart as a result of attrition and parity.

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7 Responses to “Arizona State clinches Pac-12 South with win over UCLA”
  1. Anoesis says: Nov 23, 2013 11:17 PM

    “Today also marked the official end of the Pac-12′s title hopes, as ASU, Stanford and Oregon all have two losses. What looked like a promising season for the conference just a couple weeks ago has fallen apart as a result of attrition and parity.”

    It’s still a promising season. Just because several teams at the top of the conference are well-matched doesn’t mean anything has “fallen apart.”

    The relentless media narrative that claims the SEC is an elite conference while every other conference isn’t is hypocrisy at its best.

    ESPN owns college football. ESPN has a $2.5 billion reason to showcase the SEC and push its “superiority” at every opportunity. I would expect other writers to at least try to show some level of impartiality when speaking of other college football conferences.

    The SEC invented the BCS so it is no surprise the SEC dominates the BCS. There is little risk of the top-rated teams in the SEC falling very far in the BCS even if they lose, because they don’t schedule OOC games on the road and always make sure to pad their win total with FCS patsies at home.

    Along with the false narrative that ESPN pushes every year since the inception of the BCS, we now have writers from other networks carrying ESPN’s water.

    http://www.thepostgame.com/commentary/201208/better-without-em-northern-manifesto-southern-secession-chuck-thompson-sec-bcs

  2. billslane93 says: Nov 23, 2013 11:41 PM

    ASU will actually host Stanford if they beat UA next week thanks to Oregon losing to to the Wildcats today

  3. lbroberts123 says: Nov 23, 2013 11:49 PM

    Looks like somebody is butt-hurt about not being in the SEC.

  4. sssjim7 says: Nov 23, 2013 11:58 PM

    Just another reason the playoffs should be 8 teams and conference champs only…

  5. johngaltwho says: Nov 24, 2013 12:13 AM

    Hopefully, the BCS will ultimately reflect that Arizona State lost to Wisconsin early in the season. That ending was not luck, was not error, it was sanctioned cheating by PAC 12 conference officials and the implications of it reverberates through the BCS.

  6. mrpeary3189 says: Nov 24, 2013 1:20 AM

    @johngaltwho

    You’re still salty over that loss? Like we tell Pitt fans; Get over it! It’s done!

  7. txnative61 says: Nov 24, 2013 2:19 AM

    @billslane93—I’m pretty sure you are right. Stanford has 2 conference losses, to Utah and USC, while ASU has only one provided they beat AZ. Made it sound like it was already scheduled for Palo Alto, but probably not.

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