Arizona State is coming off a huge rushing performance and the Sun Devils will be facing one of the poorest run defenses in the country when they play UCLA in a Pac-12 game at the Rose Bowl on Saturday. Arizona State rushed for 381 yards in a 41-30 win against visiting Colorado last week, its most rushing yards since 1997.
The Bruins rank 128th out of 129 FBS teams at 303.2 rushing yards allowed per game, and that number even went down after they surrendered 272 rushing yards in a 48-17 loss at Utah last weekend. The Bruins feature the type of quarterback that can win a shootout, however, and Josh Rosen is expected to return after sitting out the Utah game with a concussion. Unfortunately, he’ll be without wide receiver Darren Andrews, the Pac-12 co-leader in receptions per game (6.7) who sustained a season-ending knee injury against the Utes. Arizona State will looking to become bowl-eligible after missing out on the postseason for the first time in five seasons last year.
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network. LINE: UCLA -2.5.
ABOUT ARIZONA STATE (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12): N‘Keal Harry also averages 6.7 receptions a game for the Sun Devils, and he had a big touchdown catch against the Bruins last season, breaking a 13-13 tie on the final play of the third quarter and Arizona State eventually won 23-20. The Sun Devils will probably try to move the chains on the ground against UCLA’s weak run defense and keep Rosen off the field. Arizona State senior running back Demario Richard should be motivated after rushing for 189 yards last week, including 141 in the fourth quarter.
ABOUT UCLA (4-5, 2-4): Rosen sustained a season-ending shoulder injury after throwing for 400 yards against Arizona State last season, which marked the beginning of a series of physical setbacks for the junior. He also experienced his first loss as a starter his freshman year against the Sun Devils, getting pressured relentlessly in the 38-23 defeat at the Rose Bowl. The Bruins will need to keep Arizona State’s defense honest with their run game, and that chore will likely fall on Bolu Olorunfunmi, who had a season-high 16 carries against Utah for 63 yards.
1. UCLA is 4-0 at the Rose Bowl this season, where it hasn’t gone unbeaten since 2005.
2. UCLA P Stefan Flintoft has seven punts of 50 yards or more this season and has placed 15 of 39 inside the opponent’s 20-yard line.
3. Richard’s 189 yards rushing last week was the most for an Arizona State player since D.J. Foster ran for 216 yards against New Mexico in 2014.
PREDICTION: Arizona State 48, UCLA 42