The Final Chapter | Arizona State Takes Down UCLA 17-7

Arizona State takes down UCLA 17-7, ending a decades long history between these two teams in the final year of the Pac-12.

Arizona State’s Trenton Bourguet threw for 149 yards with one touchdown, leading the Sun Devils to a 17-7 victory on Friday over the UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl, marking their last Pac-12 game at one of the sport’s most sacred venues.

Arizona State amassed 250 yards, with Elijah Badger catching 12 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown, including a 25-yard pass to junior running back Elijah Badger for the game’s first touchdown. This win marks the Sun Devils’ third victory of the season, a significant achievement in a complete rebuild year under first-year head coach Kenny Dillingham.

“Moments. We talk to our guys all the time,” Dillingham said. “Great teams win moments. You win plays. Every play matters, but there are moments in a game that separate winners from losers. Fourth downs are those moments.”

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ASU improved to 3-7, while UCLA fell to 6-4, suffering their second consecutive loss, with many fans leaving early.

“I told them that it was on us, as coaches,” UCLA head coach Chip Kelly said. “We didn’t do a good enough job of preparing these guys for this football game. We will come back tomorrow. We have a game against the team across town, and that will get our full attention, and we will meet tomorrow as a team.”

UCLA was scoreless in the first half, marking the second time this season that the Bruins failed to score in the opening half. Giants quarterback Daniel Jones was sacked five times, tying the team’s previous season-high. Their 13 points were the fewest since their loss to Washington at the end of the 2021 season.

Arizona State’s first touchdown came in the second quarter. Skattebo launched a 25-yard pass to junior running back Elijah Badger, capping off a 14-play, 99-yard drive with 1:59 remaining in the third quarter.

“It was really cool,” Badger said. “I just saw him roll out and laser the ball. It was cool how he threw it, and that he’s a dynamic person able to do both.”

At halftime, Arizona State led 3-0. UCLA responded when quarterback Collin Schlee rifled a 16-yard touchdown pass up the middle to Logan Loya with 8:47 remaining, bringing the Bruins within three points. UCLA would not score again. Late in the fourth, Arizona State put the game out of reach following a 17-yard rush by junior running back Cam Skattebo with 3:07 remaining in the game.

Bourguet finished 19 of 34 for 149 yards and one touchdown with a passing rating over 86, besting Schlee’s first start of the season.

“For me, I’m going to do whatever I can to help the team, whatever they tell me,” Bourguet said. “Whether it is throwing the ball five times or 50 times, I’m going to do what the team wants me to do. I thought it was a great offensive game plan.” Bourget

Schlee finished 11 of 18 for 117 yards and one touchdown. UCLA has now lost two in a row, dropping to 6-4, along with losing to both Arizona teams and suffering their first home loss of the season. Kelly urged he was ready for Dillingham’s creative offense; they just didn’t execute what they practiced all week.

Next week, they face USC during rivalry week at the Coliseum.

“Give Arizona State credit,” Kelly said. “They did a good job of protecting them, running some different formations and some different things to change where the pocket was, running some unconventional things. We had prepared for it. But we didn’t do a good enough job of containing that aspect of that they did, so they kept themselves on the field.”

The End of An Era

In what seemingly felt like a regular-season game at the century-old stadium, to Arizona State Sun Devil fans, it was much more than that.

After this season, UCLA is off to the Big Ten, joining USC, Washington, and Oregon. Arizona State is headed to the Big 12, with Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah all in tow.

Eldritch graduated from Arizona State in 2016 and is certainly going to miss coming to games at the stadium.

“The Rose Bowl has always been our favorite,” he said. “Where else can you park on a golf course and tailgate? It’s a beautiful venue…our fondest memory would be all the UCLA Rose Bowl games.”

This will be the last time these two teams meet in the Pac-12 conference, leaving over decades of history, tense games, and a legacy in the remnants of a dying conference.