UCLA Puts it Together Behind Brett Hundley, 62-27

On an evening when the UCLA Bruins’ defense allowed an opposing quarterback who had completed exactly 14 passes over a three-year college career to complete 42 passes and throw for 488 yards, it was still the Bruins who dominated almost every aspect of the game, silencing critics who had labeled them as overrated and under achieving. Looking at some of the other stat totals, if you had not seen the game, you may not believe the score: Arizona State out gained the Bruins, 626 yards to 580, collected twice as many first downs as UCLA, 38 to 19, and had the ball close to a full ten minutes more than UCLA, 34:07 to 25.53. The Sun Devils also had an astonishing 105 offensive plays from scrimmage. But, big plays, turnovers, and the sterling performance of Brett Hundley were instrumental in the Bruins scoring the most points ever in a game at Sun Devil Stadium and in producing the 35-point road win, 62-27.

The may well have also been the best ever in the great career of Brett Hundley. He completed 18 of 23 pass attempts, but two of the five that did not connect were perfectly thrown but missed by Kenny Walker. So, Hundley could well have been 20 of 23, but even with the two drops, he averaged 14.5 yards per attempt. On the ground, he averaged nine yards each time he tucked the ball and ran, gaining 72 yards for the game.
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Last season, the Bruins running game came to a crashing halt when Jordon James was injured in the season’s fourth game. But, Paul Perkins has this season taken control, and has back-to-back one hundred-yard games, and over the first four games has averaged 5.7 yards per carry and 110 yards per game. James has contributed close to a hundred yards himself in a relief role so far this season.

After three lackluster offensive performances, the Bruins’ offense finally hit on all cylinders, shutting up the critics that were saying the team was not as good as the hype.

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The Bruins' defense, on the other hand, also has to show the same kind of considerable improvement as the season goes on. The defense has shown it can take the ball away and score on big defensive plays, but there needs to be a lot more consistency, especially in putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Do they miss Anthony Barr? You bet, but someone has to take charge there and lead a consistent rush, and not let another career backup come in a set a school record for completions and throw for nearly 500 yards as did Mike Bercovici last night.

The UCLA-Arizona St. game decided the PAC-12 South winner in each of the last three years, and though coming very early in the season this year, it may have done so again in 2014.

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