Can UCLA Pull Off Another Upset?

Talon Graff
Rose Bowl Exterior Photo Credit: Talon Graff

UCLA faces yet another tough test within the PAC 12 conference. The visiting Sun Devils come to town with a 5-2 record and an AP Poll ranking of 24. The are also coming off their worst offensive outing of the season after losing to Utah 21-3. Herm Edwards should have his squad mentally prepared to bounce back but don’t count UCLA out of this fight quite yet.

Get After The Freshman

Arizona State starts a freshman quarterback by the name of Jayden Daniels. Remember the name because he will be one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country. He has been a solid starter for Herm Edwards so far in 2019. However, Utah brought him back down to earth. His stat line for the day ended up at 4/18 for a woeful 25 yards through the air and an interception, only his second of the year.

We will see if the Southern California native is able to be forgetful and move on from his atrocious day. The torrential downpour during the Utah loss must be taken into account but if UCLA can get to him early and often, they may be able to keep him off his game. Doing that gives the Bruins the best chance at a shocking win.

Veto Eno

Daniels is joined in the backfield by junior tailback Eno Benjamin. The 5’10, 200 pounder has had three consecutive 100-yard games. He rushed for 104 yards on 15 carries against the Utes but Utah kept him out of the end zone for the first time this season.

UCLA did a really great job of containing the Cardinal running game and will need to step up even more to contain Eno. If he gets going, UCLA’s defense will have a difficult time getting off the field.

Spread The Ball Around

I have been a really big advocate for giving a lot of carries to Joshua Kelley. He is coming off of his biggest game of the year after totaling 176 rushing yards and a touchdown against Stanford. Arizona State will be gameplanning to stop Kelley. They most likely believe that if they stop Kelley, they stop UCLA. In order for UCLA to counter that, their approach must be to be as 50/50 in the offense as possible.

Still establish the run with Kelley but in the passing game getting as many receivers involved as possible. Demetric Felton, Kyle Phillips, Jaylen Erwin, Chase Cota, and Devin Asiasi should get targets and receptions. If Dorian Thompson-Robinson gets the ball to all of his guys, State will be caught on their heels.