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Sunday Morning QB: Bruins Slip Past Sun Devils With a Weird TD by Demetric Felton
While Felton finished off ASU with the game's last touchdown, it was Caleb Johnson who shone on defense for the Bruins.
I’m going to start of this morning with a confession.
Thank goodness for TiVo!
That’s because I fell asleep watching the game last night. That’s right. The third quarter was such a snoozefest that I fell asleep right around the time that the Bruins forced the first turnover of the game by the Sun Devils.
When I woke up around 1:30 am, the game had been over for quite some time and, after I finished watching the rest of the game, I was glad to see that Dimitri had grabbed the postgame for us. It’s been a rough few days. Real life has been getting in the way of…well, everything.
When I woke up, I first got back to the point in the game where the Sun Devils had fumbled on the UCLA 1-yard line and UCLA’s Caleb Johnson recovered.
Speaking of Johnson, what a game he had! He had six solo tackles and 4 assists in addition to two sacks and two and a half tackles for loss. In short, he was an absolute monster in this game and has become an important part of the Bruin defense.
So, I resumed watching from the point of Johnson’s fumble recovery. Naturally, I was concerned about the team trying to pass the ball from their own one-yard line due to Dorian Thompson-Robinson’s tendency to run backwards under pressure. Of course, that concern came to fruition when he was sacked in the end zone for a safety.
When that happened, I was immediately concerned that those two points could end up costing the Bruins the game and they nearly did.
In fact, I was blown away at the fact that Arizona State had not one, not two, but three two-point conversion attempts when penalties negated each of the first two tries. Thankfully, the third time was not the charm and the two-point attempt failed, leaving Bruins only trailing by a point.
That set the stage for an 11-play, 75-yard drive down the field that ate up a little more than three minutes. But, the weirdest play of the game came at the end of that drive. Chip Kelly called on Demetric Felton on first-and-goal from the ASU 2. Felton, who had played sparingly in the game and carried just ten times for 41 yards, had a clear path into the end zone. But, instead of crossing the goal line right away, Felton stopped inches short in order to run more precious seconds off the clock before giving the ball back to the Sun Devils.
In all my years watching football, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that kind of play. Then again, strike that. I have seen it — in football video games where one player is trying to eat up time and leave his opponent with less time to score.
It was a smart move on Felton’s part and the fact that he had the presence of mind to do so demonstrates his selflessness. By stopping like he did, he was potentially giving up his personal stats in favor of trying to help the Bruins win.
In the postgame press conference, Chip Kelly was asked about how it felt to have a winning record for the first time since coming to UCLA. In response, all Kelly would say is that “any time you win a football game, it feels great.” Kelly also spoke about the contributions of Caleb Johnson and Delon Hurt.
The postgame press conference video is courtesy of UCLA Athletics.
Ultimately, the Bruins won last night and the team now heads into Beat ‘$c week with a winning record for the first time in the Chip Kelly era. On Saturday, the Bruins will have a chance to knock Southern Cal out of the Pac-12 Championship Game.
Unfortunately, a win in next week’s game won’t do anything to help UCLA’s place in the Pac-12 South standings as they are now guaranteed to finish third whether they beat Southern Cal or not, though a win will go a long way towards helping the Bruins’ bowl selection. As a reminder, the NCAA decided that all teams are eligible to play in bowl games this year regardless of record because of how COVID-19 has messed with the schedules.
It will probably also help determine who the Bruins will face on Championship Saturday. Right now, if I had to fathom a guess, I’d expect to see a game against either Stanford, or possibly Utah, but we’ll see who the conference ends up pairing the Bruins up with after Saturday’s rivalry game.
In closing, that means it is now officially Beat ‘$c Week. So, I want to encourage all our readers to do something this week to get under the skin of one of your Trojan friends since we can’t be at the Rose Bowl to cheer on the Bruins.
Go Bruins!!! Beat ‘$c!