First half recap: No. 11 UCLA 27, No. 15 ASU 17

Redshirt junior receiver Jaelen Strong celebrates with sophomore receiver Cameron Smith after Smith caught a 29-yard pass from redshirt junior quarterback Mike Bercovici (Photo by Andrew Ybanez). Redshirt junior receiver Jaelen Strong celebrates with sophomore receiver Cameron Smith after Smith caught a 29-yard pass from redshirt junior quarterback Mike Bercovici. (Photo by Andrew Ybanez)

It wasn’t a good start for ASU redshirt junior quarterback Mike Bercovici as he started his first drive 3-for-5, but sophomore kicker Zane Gonzalez converted a 49-yard field goal to put ASU up 3-0.

UCLA appeared to move the ball well in its first offensive drive, but penalties ended up negating two plays that would’ve gone for at least seven yards and forced the Bruins to punt.

MORE: See all UCLA game day coverage. 

ASU’s chance to extend its lead, but junior running back D.J. Foster lost a fumble on the first play of the second drive on the Sun Devils’ own 18-yard line. ASU held on in the redzone, though, and forced UCLA to settle for a 36-yard field goal from junior kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn. Things started to click for Bercovici when he converted a 25-yard pass to redshirt junior wide receiver Jaelen Strong before throwing his first touchdown to redshirt sophomore tight end Kody Kohl for five yards.

UCLA redshirt junior quarterback Brett Hundley completed a 43-yard pass to Thomas Duarte. The Bruins couldn’t capitalize as the Sun Devils stopped UCLA again in the redzone, which resulted in Fairbairn’s 24-yard field goal.

Bercovici continued to ride his hot streak, bringing the ASU offense up 75 yards and completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to sophomore wide receiver Cam Smith to bring ASU up 17-6.

It didn’t take UCLA to strike back, as redshirt freshman wide receiver Eldridge Massington took a short pass and took it all the way for an 80-yard touchdown, with the help of two ASU defenders inadvertently crushing each other out of the play. It cut UCLA’s deficit to 17-13.

It looked like ASU was about to move the ball through a slow drive until Bercovici threw an interception to UCLA redshirt senior safety Anthony Jefferson at the Bruins’ 23-yard line. UCLA only moved the ball 34 yards on nine plays and was forced to punt at ASU’s 43-yard line.

Foster had a 20-yard reception from Bercovici, but a six-yard rush from redshirt senior running back Deantre Lewis and two incompletions from Bercovici resulted in sophomore punter Matt Haack's first punt of the game for 46 yards.

Hundley completed four passes that helped UCLA take the lead from ASU from a 3-yard pass to redshirt sophomore fullback Nate Iese.

ASU closed out the half with a steady drive that put the Sun Devils all the way to UCLA's 18-yard line, but Becovici threw a pick to junior cornerback Ishmael Adams that was returned for a 95-yard touchdown.

UCLA will start with the ball in the second half.

2014 season in photos

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Reach the reporter at jnacion@asu.edu or follow him on Twitter @Josh_Nacion

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