Behind the Numbers: Uncharacteristic performance in red zone cost ASU a win

The Sun Devils could not score touchdowns when needed against UCLA

ASU football was looking for their third consecutive victory over UCLA at the Rose Bowl on Saturday and a spot in a bowl game for the first time since losing to West Virginia in the January 2016 Cactus Bowl.  

Instead, the Sun Devils (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) dropped a high-scoring 44-37 affair and will need to defeat either Oregon State in Corvallis next week or UA in the Territorial Cup on Thanksgiving weekend to play beyond the regular season. 

Here is how the Bruins (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) improved to 5-0 this season in Pasadena:


ASU settled for a field goal on three of its six trips to the red zone. 

The Sun Devils were the 14th best team at scoring touchdowns inside the 20-yard line coming into the game. 


The Sun Devils' offense produced zero touchdowns in the second half. 

ASU scored its only touchdown of the final two quarters late in the third. That is when redshirt sophomore linebacker Malik Lawal blocked a punt and freshman running back Eno Benjamin picked up the football and took it nine yards to the house.


UCLA junior quarterback Josh Rosen burned ASU's secondary with nine passes that gained 15 yards or more. 

All nine completions went for first downs, including a 56-yard completion to Bruins junior running back Bolu Olorunfunmi that set up a Bruins touchdown in the third quarter. 


The Bruins also tallied four explosive run plays of 10 or more yards on early downs that kept the chains moving. 

The first three went for 30-plus yards, and the last was a 21-yard touchdown run by junior Soso Jamabo that gave the Bruins their first lead of the game. 

203, 39

ASU ran for 203 yards on 39 attempts in the first half. 

The Sun Devils averaged 5.2 yards per carry in the first two quarters, mostly by finding holes in the interior of the Bruins' defensive front. 

91, 22

The Sun Devils managed only 91 rushing yards on 22 attempts in the second half. 

The Sun Devils actually ran more pass plays (24) for 237 yards in the third and fourth quarters. 


ASU did not sack Rosen once the entire game.

The only other time the Sun Devils failed to sack an opposing quarterback in a game was against Stanford on Sept. 30. 


Of Rosen's 381 total yards passing, 225 of them came in the second half, and he completed 15 of 20 pass attempts. 

The Bruins run game was shut down in the second half, but Rosen put UCLA's offense on his shoulders. 


The Sun Devils faced third down 22 times, six more times than UCLA (16). 

ASU converted 64 percent (7 for 11) of its third down tries in the first half but could only pick up a first down 36 percent of the time (4 for 11) in the second half. 

Reach the reporter at or follow @joejacquezaz on Twitter.

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