Doomed by Anemic Offense, ASU Falls to UCLA

Will the real Sun Devil team please stand up? A 47-point eruption last week provided hope that the old high flying offense was back in force. On Saturday night, all the maroon and gold could muster are four field goals. The end result was a frustrating 24-12 loss to the Bruins, which could now adversely affect any post-season aspirations.

After exchanging punts on their first possessions, UCLA (6-5, 4-4) drew first blood on a 56-yard pass from Patrick Cowan to Brandon Breazell. Arizona State (6-5, 3-5) drove the ball into UCLA territory, and in what was a common theme on this night, came away scoring a Jesse Ainsworth field goal. Pinned deep in Sun Devil territory, Rudy Carpenter was intercepted and the visitors returned the ball to the 1-yard line where Chane Moline punched it in for a touchdown. On the other hand, on 3rd and one and 4th and one on UCLA's one yard line, the Sun Devils aren't able to score turning the ball over on downs. The ASU defense did a formidable job preventing the visitors from scoring again in the fist half, but their efforts aren't rewarded as the offense is incapable of scoring touchdowns.

In the opening drive of the second half, ASU was able to again just score a field goal and that ultimately proved to be last time they would put points on the board. A fake UCLA punt seemed to break the ASU spirit, as the visitors proceed to score the game's last ten points.

ASU QB Rudy Carpenter had a sub par night completing 11-30 passes for 149 yards and an interception. He was also sacked five times. Ryan Torain had 77 carries on 19 carries, and Zach Miller led all receivers in catches with four and 36 yards. Josh Barrett was the high man in tackles with eight, including two for a loss.

Granted, the season-ending game against archrival Arizona is always a big game. However, this Saturday will mark the first time since 1993 that both squads will enter the duel in the desert with winning record. The winner will be assured a bowl berth, while the loser will have to wait anxiously for a post-season invitation that may never come. A win in Tucson could partially salvage the season in some respects. The inconsistency of the team makes it anybody's guess if indeed the smile will return to the faces of the Sun Devil faithful.

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