Arizona State has stayed one step ahead of UCLA on the scoreboard for much of the first half, but the Bruins managed to get to the halftime break holding the lead. Using linebacker Myles Jack and defensive tackle Eddie Vanderdoes, UCLA fooled Arizona State’s defense for the go-ahead score, a short pass from Brett Hundley to a wide-open Nate Iese. Just as it looked as though Arizona State ws going to at least tie things up in the final 20 seconds, UCLA’s defense came up with a pick-six to take all of the momentum to the break. Ishmael Adams picked off a pass as Arizona State’s lack of timeouts may have had an impact. He returned the interception 95 yards for a touchdown. UCLA scored three straight touchdowns in the second quarter to take a 27-17 lead to the locker room.
Hundley was listed as the starter for UCLA after Jim Mora kept silent on his availability for Thursday night’s game. Hundley injured his shoulder against Texas the last time UCLA played, and he has been playing well in this key Pac-12 South contest. At the half, Hundley has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 219 yards and two touchdowns. He has taken some hits from the Arizona State defense, but he has not been rattled in the process.
Arizona State is playing without Taylor Kelly at quarterback. His replacement, Mike Bercovici has more than held his own so far against the Bruins defense. At the break, Bercovici has completed 16 of 28 passes for 215 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but he has been intercepted twice. The second was a killer, coming after Arizona State put together a late first-half drive to at least settle for a field goal to tie the game at the half. A lack of timeouts though meant Arizona State had no extra time to set up and talk about a play inside the red zone, and it hurt them.
This should be a fantastic second half for those staying up to watch it. I’m going to go grab a coffee during the halftime so I can be sure to catch it.