TEMPE, Ariz. – Arizona State staged a masterful fourth-quarter comeback against UCLA on Saturday – except it ended about 1 1/2 minutes too soon.
Taylor Kelly’s 7-yard touchdown pass to D.J. Foster put the Sun Devils ahead with 1:33 to play, but the Bruins drove downfield to win it 45-43 on a 33-yard field goal by Ka’imi Fairbairn as the game ended.
“I felt we had great momentum and confidence in our team,” Kelly said. “I had great trust and belief in our defense to get a stop, but we came up short.”
UCLA led 42-33 with 9:01 left.
Consecutive home losses to Oregon and UCLA have dampened the enthusiasm for the program of first-year coach Todd Graham, and the Sun Devils (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) have a rough game coming up at Oregon State.
“We had so many plays left out on the field. But we are a young team, and we’re going to battle back,” Graham said. “We’re not giving up on nothing.”
The Sun Devils and UCLA (6-2, 3-2) are a half-game out of first in the Pac-12 South thanks to Arizona’s upset of USC.
UCLA freshman Brett Hundley, playing a few miles from where he grew up, threw for four touchdowns, then drove the Bruins downfield to set up the winning kick.
“That is just what this offense does,” Hundley said. “We play fast and do what we have to do and only stop ourselves. So as long as we are doing what we’ve got to do and have fun out there, we can put points on the board.”
Hundley completed 19 of 31 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns. He threw his 18th touchdown pass of the season, breaking the freshman record of 17 set by Tommy Maddox in 1990.