Sun Devils Drop Defensive Battle To UCLA
Nov. 19, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - Patrick Cowan threw two touchdown passes to Brandon Breazell, and UCLA's defense dominated in a 24-12 victory over Arizona State Saturday night.
Cowan, who completed 14 of 24 passes for 187 yards, teamed up with Breazell for two big plays. The first was a 56-yard touchdown that gave UCLA a 7-0 lead midway through the first quarter. The second was a 35-yard score with 6:41 left in the game that put the Bruins up 24-12 and sealed the victory.
UCLA's defense kept ASU (6-5, 3-5 in the Pac-10) out of the end zone and sacked ASU quarterback Rudy Carpenter five times. Late in the first quarter, Bruins cornerback Trey Brown intercepted a Carpenter pass and returned it 19 yards to the ASU 1, setting up a 1-yard plunge by tailback Chane Moline.
The Bruins (6-5, 4-4) were at their best deep in their own territory. Arizona State had 12 offensive snaps inside the UCLA 10-yard line and managed only two field goals.
The Sun Devils' Jesse Ainsworth kicked four field goals, one shy of the school record. ASU failed to score a touchdown for the first time since 27-0 loss to California on Oct. 30, 2004.
It was a rare defensive struggle for teams that had combined to score at least 80 points in three of their last four meetings.
The Sun Devils managed only 264 total yards, 10 fewer than the Bruins.
ASU missed a chance to take its first lead of the game on the opening possession of the second half. The Sun Devils drove 57 yards for first-and-goal at the UCLA 4, but had to settle for Ainsworth's fourth field goal to cut UCLA's lead to 14-12.
The Bruins responded with a 13-play, 75-yard drive that ended with Justin Medlock's 24-yard field goal. The key play came when the Bruins lined up to punt at their own 27. The snap went to fullback Danny Nelson, who ran 27 yards to the ASU 46.
Facing a relentless pass rush, Carpenter completed only 11 of 30 passes for 149 yards and one interception. It was the fourth interception in three games for Carpenter, who had gone 75 passes without an interception earlier this season.
The victory kept alive UCLA's slender bowl hopes. The Bruins finish the regular season against Southern California on Dec. 2. Arizona State may need to beat archrival Arizona in Tucson next week to earn one of the Pac-10's six bowl berths.