Tempe, AZ (SportsNetwork.com) – Brett Hundley returned to the field on
Thursday and showed why he was a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, throwing
four touchdown passes and running for another in No. 11 UCLA’s 62-27 rout of
15th-ranked Arizona State.
Hundley played with a heavily wrapped left arm after leaving last week’s win
over Texas with an elbow injury. He played through the pain and delivered the
best game of his collegiate career, completing 18-of-23 passes for 355 yards.
He also gained 72 yards on eight carries.
UCLA (4-0, 1-0 Pac-12) benefited from the big play, scoring four touchdowns of
80-plus yards. Ishmael Adams was responsible for two of those, returning an
interception and kickoff for long scores.
Jordan Payton made five catches for 151 yards and two touchdowns, and Eldridge
Massington’s lone reception went 80 yards for a tally. Paul Perkins gained
137 yards on the ground, with 81 of those coming on a run late in the
contest that included a highlight reel juke at the end of it.
Mike Bervocivi made his first career start in place of the injured Taylor
Kelly for the Sun Devils (3-1, 1-1) and threw early and often, completing 42-
of-68 passes for 488 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Jaelen
Strong made a game-high 12 catches for 146 yards.
Bervocivi threw for a pair of first downs on ASU’s first drive but missed
D.J. Foster on 3rd-and-8, leading to Zane Gonzalez’s 49-yard field goal.
Foster fumbled later in the quarter, and Ka’imi Fairbairn tied the score with
a 36-yard kick.
The Sun Devils found the end zone late in the first quarter thanks in part to
Strong’s 25-yard completion. On 3rd-and-goal, Bervocivi rolled out to right
then threw across his body to a wide open Kody Kohl right on the goal line.
Busted coverage on the first play of the ensuing drive saw Thomas Duarte pick
up 43 yards down the middle to the ASU 13. The offense stalled though, and
Fairbairn kicked another short field goal.
On the second play of the second quarter, Cameron Smith hauled in a 29-yard
TD reception to give the Sun Devils a 17-6 lead.
It was all downhill for ASU after that.
Early in the next UCLA possession, Hundley dumped off a pass to Massington,
who shook off multiple would-be tacklers before sprinting 80 yards to the end
Towards the end of the half, UCLA got a huge momentum boost with a pair of
touchdowns to take a 27-17 lead into the break.
The Bruins took their first lead of the game when Hundley capped a 90-yard
drive with a short touchdown pass to Nate Iese. ASU then drove into the red
zone, with Strong making three grabs for 39 yards on the series. With time
running out, Bervocivi forced a throw that was picked off by Adams, who went
untouched 95 yards to the house with two seconds showing on the clock.
Another big play early in the second half left the Arizona State fans feeling
stunned. On the second play from scrimmage, Hundley found a wide open Payton
on the right sideline and blocking downfield set up his 80-yard touchdown.
Arizona State finally ended a string of 28 points with a 24-yard Gonzalez
field goal, but once again the Bruins were back in the driver’s seat minutes
later. Adams scored his second touchdown, taking the kickoff back 100 yards
for a score and 41-20 UCLA advantage.
Deon Hollins sacked Bervocivi and forced a fumble on the first play of the
next touch, and two plays later, UCLA was back in the end zone. Hundley ran
22 to the 1 and Nate Starks punched it in from there.
Bervocivi’s final touchdown pass — a 5-yard TD to Ellis Jefferson — came
late in the third period.
UCLA, which never took its foot off the gas until Hundley kneeled out the
clock on the final possession of the game, added two more TDs in the fourth on
Payton’s short grab and a Hundley keeper.
This was the fifth meeting all-time when both teams are ranked in the AP Top
25. The lower ranked team had won the previous four … Arizona State
outgained UCLA, 626-580 … UCLA went 6-for-6 in the red zone. ASU finished 3-
for-5 … ASU gained 38 first downs while UCLA had just 19 … Both
quarterbacks were sacked once … This was Hundley’s first career game with
five-plus touchdowns and no interceptions.