If Richard Brehaut needs a shoulder sling, it’s understandable.
The UCLA sophomore quarterback completed 33-of-56 passes – both UCLA records – for 321 yards and the three touchdowns in the Bruins’ 55-34 loss at Arizona State on Friday afternoon.
Against a Sun Devil defense ranked 18th nationally against the run but 88th against the pass, the Bruins went to the throwing game early, but especially late, as ASU erased a 17-0 lead with a 55-10 run.
“Our passing game has been something we struggled with all year,” Brehaut said. “Fortunately, we were able to get that going. Unfortunately, we were able to get it going because we were down. We had to pass.”
Facing tremendous pressure from an Arizona State defense that wasn’t about to sit idly by, Brehaut was productive on the run and was only sacked once. His second touchdown, a 21-yard toss to junior Nelson Rosario, came on a broken play, as Brehaut threw a jump ball off his back foot to the 6-foot-5 receiver.
“We did a great job, the receivers and I, of when stuff broke down, finding open windows,” Brehaut said. “We found spots we could put a ball in, and that’s something we can build on.”
Early on, UCLA seemed to dictate the pace of the game, controlling the Sun Devils at the line of scrimmage by mixing up the pass and the run. The Bruins came out throwing on the first play, a Brehaut-to-Nelson Rosario eight-yard completion, and were able to throw ASU off.
Then once the Sun Devils took control on offense and the momentum shifted, UCLA’s running game all-but disappeared.
“That’s something we did real well in the first quarter, coming out and getting that 17-0 lead; we were doing what we wanted out there,” Brehaut said. “Unfortunately we got away from that, and we started to struggle with the run game. We put ourselves in second- and third-and-longs, and that’s when they sit back and wait on it. For us, it’s about establishing ourselves.
Arizona State linebacker Vontaze Burfict is known for his penchant for hysterics. He didn’t disappoint.
On a third-down draw run by Johnathan Franklin, right guard Eddie Williams drove Burfict 20 yards to the left sideline, maintaining the block the entire time, before throwing him out of bounds.
Burfict’s teammate Junior Onyeali rushed to his defense, incurring a personal foul penalty, which then brought Burfict’s wrath, and Burfict was flagged as well.
UCLA wasted a first-and-goal at the ASU 6-yard line, unable to convert a fourth-and-goal at the 1-yard line.
On the ensuing drive, Bruin safety Tony Dye got a personal foul call on a Cameron Marshall first-down, 10-yard run, which turned into a 25-yard Sun Devil gain. Two plays later, Marshall broke off a 71-yard touchdown run.
News and Notes
UCLA senior kicker Kai Forbath tied John Lee’s team record of 85 career field goals with a second-quarter 37-yard conversion. … Sophomore running back Johnathan Franklin became UCLA’s first 1,000-yard rusher since Chris Markey in 2006, finishing with 73 yards against the Sun Devils. … UCLA junior receiver Taylor Embree’s nine catches and 105 yards were both career highs, as was Nelson Rosario’s nine grabs.
Bumps and Bruises
Freshman defensive tackle Cassius Marsh and sophomore cornerback Andrew Abbott both exited the game with head injuries.