Penalties cost ASU prime early chances against UCLA
Penalties have plagued Arizona State all season and the issue reared its ugly head again versus UCLA early on Saturday night.
The Sun Devils first drive of the game was stalled when an illegal substitution penalty pushed a 3rd and 6 back to a 3rd and 11. The Sun Devils picked up seven yards on a completion from Jayden Daniels to Curtis Hodges and were forced to punt.
Later in the first quarter, a false start on 3rd and goal from the two yard line was pushed back to the seven and led to an incomplete pass. The Sun Devils settled for a field goal.
Although ASU only finished the first quarter with two penalties for 10 yards, both calls came at crucial moments in the game.
The Sun Devils committed two more critical penalties in the second quarter.
An incomplete pass on 3rd and 8 was turned into an automatic first down for UCLA after a pass interference penalty by ASU cornerback Chase Lucas.
That same drive was extended four plays later when a UCLA punt was called back because the Sun Devils had too many men on the field.
“One time we had 12, another time we had 13,” head coach Herm Edwards said after the game. “I thought we were in Canada.”
The following play, on 4th and 1 instead of 4th and 5, the Bruins picked up a first down on a three-yard run.
They would later score a field goal on the drive.
Despite the miscues, ASU did not let UCLA pull away.
Both teams traded scores three times in a row, leading to three ties and five lead changes.
The Sun Devils ended the half with a 24-23 lead over the Bruins.
They would pull away to finish off UCLA by a 42-23 final score.
ASU came into the weekend ranked second-to-last in the FBS averaging 10 penalties per game.
Only Ole Miss was ranked worse than ASU with 11.5 penalties per game.
Mississippi had 7 penalties for 55 yards in a loss to Alabama.