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ASU looks to get second Pac-12 road win of the season at UCLA

(AP Photo/Matt York)

Pac-12 road games for Arizona State have not been enjoyable the last three seasons and they may be in for another challenging one against UCLA star quarterback Josh Rosen.

ASU (4-2) will try to keep up in the Pac-12 South standings as they go on the road to play UCLA (2-4) this Saturday. The Sun Devils have only one victory in their previous ten Pac-12 road games.

For ASU, the last Pac-12 road victory came earlier this season when the Sun Devils defeated Utah 30-10.

The team has won three of its last four games and is one week removed from a 41-30 come-from-behind win against Colorado at home.

UCLA has lost three of their last four games, surrendering at least 30 points in each matchup.

The Bruins are coming off an ugly 48-17 loss against Utah without Rosen, due to a concussion the quarterback suffered against Washington.

Essential Info

What: Arizona State (5-4, 4-2 Pac-12) vs. UCLA (4-5, 2-4 Pac-12)

When: 7:30 p.m.

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Radio: ESPN 620 AM

Storylines to follow

The Rosen Show 

With reports that Rosen is on pace to start this weekend against ASU, it has all the makings of another showcase performance for the future NFL draft prospect.

The quarterback has put together three games of throwing at least 450 yards and another three games where he had at least four touchdowns.

Rosen is ranked 12th in the country in passing yards and 14th in touchdowns thrown.

Nonetheless, it has not been all sunshine and rainbows in recent weeks, as Rosen went through a rough stretch even before he got concussed. The quarterback didn’t eclipse 300 yards in October and only threw three touchdowns to go with three interceptions.

The Sun Devils have a pass-friendly defense by only having four games this season where they did had not given up either 300 passing yards or three throwing touchdowns in a game.

Hopefully, for ASU, this won’t be the “get right” game for Rosen, but hope can only travel so far with this elite talent.

The battle of the front lines

Believe it or not, the Sun Devils have an elite pass rush with 30 sacks for the season ranking tenth nationally. ASU was able to get to Colorado quarterback Steven Montez fives times in their last game.

More good news, UCLA has a below-average offensive line that has given up 21 sacks on the year, a mark that ranks 88th in the country.

In the Washington game in late October, UCLA gave up four sacks which caused Rosen to limp around for a majority of the game.

The quarterback was pulled from the game midway through the third quarter with what looked like a hand injury, but was later discovered he suffered a concussion during the game.

The battle of the lines, Pt.2

The bad news for the Sun Devils is they have offensive line problems of their own, as they have allowed 31 sacks ranking 125th in the nation.

The good news is UCLA doesn’t have a great pass rush. The Bruins have 15 sacks which ranks 85th in the country.

Nevertheless, the Sun Devils have seen an improvement with the offensive line. In the first five games of the season, ASU allowed at least three sacks to each of its opponent. In the last four games, only USC got to the quarterback at least three times.

Coming off the Colorado game, the Sun Devils kept quarterback Manny Wilkins clean, not allowing a single sack. Look to see if the improvements continue against UCLA.

Stats to know

701 – UCLA has accounted for 701 yards in penalties, the fourth-most in the country. They have been flagged 74 times through nine games.

321 – ASU has the eighth-fewest penalty yards in the nation with 321 and have only been flagged 33 times.

9 – UCLA has only been able to gain nine turnovers all season, which ranks 110th in the country.

3 – Wilkins has only thrown three interceptions this season.

3 – The Sun Devils rank 112th in the country in punt returns with three yards per an attempt. ASU longest return this season was 16 yards.


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