Three takeaways from No. 12 UCLA's 50-36 win over Arizona State
It wasn’t the prettiest win, and it wasn’t without its controversy, but UCLA moved to 8-1 with a 50-36 road win over an Arizona State squad that showed some surprising life on Saturday. For the first time this season, the Bruins hung half a hundred on an opponent.
Despite the somewhat stunning absence of their all-league running back, the Bruins piled up more than 400 yards on the ground, with Dorian Thompson-Robinson topping the century mark for the first time this season.
The Bruins moved to 8-1 for the first time since 2005 and remain on track for their first 10-win regular season since then, as well. While a Week 12 test against USC will prove difficult, UCLA’s other two opponents — Arizona and Cal — are among the league’s worst. Double-digit wins would be the expectation at this point.
Here are three takeaways from UCLA’s win over Arizona State:
Bruins survive, thrive without Zach Charbonnet
Playing without the services of the top running back in the Pac-12, the Bruins barely skipped a beat.
But Zach Charbonnet’s absence on Saturday night looms large for UCLA, particularly after the FS1 announcing crew could not shed much light on the situation.
#UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet has a bandage on his left tricep and one on his left shin. I didn't watch all of the offensive walk-throughs, but I didn't see him take a rep. Keegan Jones took the reps I saw with the first string.
— Bruin Report Online (@BruinReport) November 6, 2022
Was this a Cameron Rising situation similar to last week, when the Utes star quarterback informed head coach Kyle Whittingham that he didn’t think he could play just a half-hour before the start of the game?
Charbonnet had bandages on various parts of his body, but he’s had them in other games and still played.
But, look, if the UCLA running game is going to show out like it did on Saturday, Charbonnet’s absence at least might not be too punishing.
Allen had 137 yards and a score, Thompson-Robinson rushed for 120 yards and 2 scores, Keegan Jones had 98 yards with a score and Christian Yankoff added 48 yards and a score as the Bruins piled up more than 400 yards on the ground.
UCLA takes foot off the gas pedal
Chip Kelly ought to be at least a little concerned by how the Bruins faded in the late 3rd quarter against a poor Arizona State squad.
After going up 42-17, UCLA allowed 19 straight points to let the Sun Devils creep back into the game behind impressive former walk-on quarterback Trenton Bourguet.
When it counted most, the Bruins stepped up, marching down the field on a 7-play, 74-yard drive — capped off by a successful 2-point conversion — to go back up by 14, then intercepted Bourguet on ASU’s last offensive possession.
The Bruins have been pretty good this year at putting opponents away, but Saturday was not their steadiest effort.
It’ll be curious to hear what Kelly has to say about UCLA’s late-game performance.
Darius Muasau proving one of Pac-12’s key transfers
Another Saturday, another terrific performance for Darius Muasau.
A candidate for Pac-12 defensive player of the year honors, Muasau has been ultra-productive this year, and he kept it up against the Sun Devils.
Muasau had 12 tackles, including 6 solo, 1 sack, 2 tackles-for-loss and a quarterback hurry in the win. For the year, he boasts 64 tackles, a sack, a forced fumble and 2 interceptions. He has been a steady presence for the Bruins, who needed this kind of production out of the linebacker corps.
Kain Medrano also had a nice game for the Bruins with 9 tackles including 7 solo, but Laiatu Latu was relatively quiet, finishing with just 2 tackles and a half-sack.