UCLA Looks to Avoid the Upset at Arizona State

UCLA is headed to Tempe to take on Arizona State. LAFB's Cary Korngard takes a look at the surging Sun Devils under QB Trenton Bourguet.

UCLA's Dorian Thompson- Robinson Photo Credit: Jesus Ramirez
UCLA's Dorian Thompson- Robinson Photo Credit: Jesus Ramirez

After a disappointing loss to Oregon, the UCLA Bruins got things back on track last week with a dominant home win against Stanford. This week, they’ll go on the road to face the Arizona State Sun Devils. On the surface, Arizona State is not very good. They’re 3-5 on the year and have already fired Herm Edwards early in the season after it was revealed last year that he had committed a multitude of recruiting violations (Of which the program is now buried in sanctions for). However, things may have turned the corner recently.

Interim head coach Shaun Aguano has taken over playcalling duties and Trenton Bourguet has taken over for Emory Jones as starting quarterback. Bourget came in for Jones against Washington. He threw three touchdowns, leading the Sun Devils to a huge upset victory. Jones started the next week against Stanford. A game ASU subsequently lost. Bourguet then started on the road against Colorado last week. And the team won.

In the games Bourguet played, ASU scored 45 and 42 points. The Colorado game was Bourguet’s first career start, and all he did was throw for 435 yards and another three touchdowns. It’s a small sample size, but Arizona State’s offense appears to have turned a corner with Bourguet starting, and they could be dangerous this coming week.

ASU had 557 yards of total offense, running back Xazavian Valladay ran for 118 yards and three touchdowns, and tight end Jalin Conyers had three touchdown catches. These are all names to watch against the Bruins this week

UCLA’s Outlook

This will be only UCLA’s third time on the road all season, which certainly could pose a challenge. Chip Kelly is 2-2 against Arizona State as a Bruins coach and 1-1 in Tempe. Last year the Bruins lost big, 42-23, but that was a different ASU team with Jayden Daniels starting.

UCLA is currently favored by 10.5 points. It’s not extreme, but it’s a comfortable margin. An upset is certainly possible, but if the Bruins come ready to play–as they have for most of the year–they should be able to take care of business in this one.

UCLA's Dorian Thompson- Robinson Photo Credit: Jesus Ramirez
UCLA’s Dorian Thompson- Robinson Photo Credit: Jesus Ramirez