Sunday, November 24, 2013

No Roses for UCLA

UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley was sacked nine times on Saturday by the Arizona State defense in a 38-33 defeat that sank the Bruins' chances of playing on New Year's Day in Pasadena. Instead, it will be the Sun Devils who will have the opportunity to play in the Rose Bowl game if they beat Stanford on Dec. 7 in the Pac-12 championship, to be played either in Tempe or Palo Alto.
Had UCLA beat ASU, and USC this Saturday, then it would have qualified for the conference final.
While Hundley and his offense struggled, Arizona State's quarterback Taylor Kelly played brilliantly in the first half, running and passing his team to a comfortable 22-point lead at halftime.
The ASU advantage was to much for UCLA to overcome, and even though the Bruins mounted a rally in the third quarter, the Sun Devils had enough will and strength to hold it off.
Stanford's wipe out of California coupled with Oregon's surprising loss to Arizona gave the Cardinal the North Division championship. Stanford will play host to Arizona State if Arizona beats the Sun Devils this week.
Meanwhile at Boulder, Colo., the USC Trojans tacked on another win for interim Coach Ed Orgeron by easily defeating the Colorado Buffaloes on a cold night in which temperatures dipped below freezing. USC had an outside chance of making the Pac-12 Championship game as the South representative by beating UCLA this Saturday and also having Arizona State lose twice. But the Trojans' chance of that went down with the Bruins' loss.
Now both USC and UCLA will play in second-level bowls for the holidays, in either the Sun Bowl in El Paso or the Las Vegas Bowl, or possible the Holiday Bowl in San Diego.
Still to be determined is whether USC will offer Orgeron a permanent coaching job? The feeling here is that even though Coach O has revived a team that was foundering under Lane Kiffin, winning six out of seven games since September, Athletic Director Pat Haden will chose someone else.


add USC: Although there is little at stake outside of bragging rights in Saturday's crosstown rivalry matchup with UCLA at the Coliseum, ABC will televise the Trojans' finale with a 5 p.m. kickoff scheduled in prime-time in the East and Midwest.

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