In the first half of Arizona State’s win over UCLA, the offenses could hardly do anything. In the second half, the two offenses could do nothing but get their quarterbacks injured.
The Sun Devils used several big gains, a few trick plays and a little bit of creativity on defense to sneak past the Bruins 23-20 and set a bit of history on a night that had a whole lot of injuries at the most important position on the field.
ASU kicker Zane Gonzalez made the most memorable impression of the contest as he passed Florida State’s Dustin Hopkins to set a new NCAA record with his 89th career field goal. He connected from 46 yards out in the fourth quarter to set the new mark and the kick ultimately proved to be the game-winning score for the home team. The senior also hit from 35 and 23 yards as he proved once again to be the most reliable offensive option for coach Todd Graham.
The biggest story of the game however came at the quarterback position. Namely that just about every one of them left with an injury.
By far the biggest name was UCLA signal-caller Josh Rosen, who left after suffering a leg injury on a sack in the middle of the second quarter and didn’t return from the locker room until the middle of the third quarter. While he did re-enter the game and rally the Bruins with two touchdown passes in the second half, he also left the game for a second time after getting brought down extremely hard on a sack in the fourth quarter.
Rosen was seen holding his wrist in obvious pain and talking to trainers, which led to backup Mike Fafaul closing out the game with an interception on the final drive.
Arizona State was not immune from the QB bug either. Brady White (who himself was making the start in place of the injured Manny Wilkins) was knocked out of the game while getting spun out of bounds midway through the final quarter. He had to be carried off the field with a leg injury and was later seen moving around the sideline on crutches.
Freshman Dillon Sterling-Cole’s redshirt was burned as a result and just two plays later he threw an interception on his very first collegiate pass for the Sun Devils. The team still managed to hold on in a game that was certainly no masterpiece when it came to the play between the lines.
The end result further muddles the Pac-12 South standings in addition to causing some anxious fan bases left waiting to find out about the status of their quarterbacks going forward. ASU, Colorado and Utah are all tied atop the division and USC is just a half game behind with tie-breakers over two of the three.
It was not a banner night for Pac-12 football in the desert but the Sun Devils survived to capture a key win in the league and see a veteran player set a pretty cool NCAA record while doing so.