UCLA-Arizona State preview capsule
No. 11 UCLA (3-0) vs. No. 15 Arizona State (3-0, 1-0 Pac-12), 10 p.m. (Fox Sports 1)
Line: UCLA by 3 1-2.
Series Record: UCLA leads 18-11-1.
WHAT’S AT STAKE
This game has essentially decided the Pac-12 South each of the past two seasons. Though it’s coming earlier in the schedule than the previous two, the showdown between budding rivals still could be a big one in deciding the South.
UCLA’s offensive line vs. Arizona State’s pressure. The Bruins have had a hard time protecting QB Brett Hundley over the past three seasons. He’s been sacked an FBS-high 97 times since 2012, including nine in a loss to Arizona State last season. Regardless of whether Hundley plays — he injured his left arm against Texas on Sept. 13 — UCLA needs to find a way to protect its quarterback against the attacking Sun Devils.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
UCLA: LB/RB Myles Jack. UCLA’s two-way star was pretty much a one-way player last season against Arizona State, sticking to the defensive side of the ball. Bruins coach Jim Mora said it was a mistake after the Sun Devils scored 38 points in the victory, so he’s planning to have the sophomore play primarily defense this time, with a few carries on offense.
Arizona State: QB Mike Bercovici. With Taylor Kelly still on crutches with a right foot injury, Bercovici gets the chance he’s been waiting three years for. The junior has a different skill set than the multidimensional Kelly, so the Sun Devils may make a few adjustments to take advantage of his big arm. How he handles the pressure of the national spotlight in his first career start will, needless to say, be huge for the Sun Devils.
FACTS & FIGURES
The game is the first regular-season meeting between ranked opponents at Sun Devil Stadium since 2007. Arizona State and Stanford were ranked when they played there last season, but it was in the Pac-12 championship game. ... UCLA is 9-4 in true road games under Mora, including a victory over Arizona State in 2012. ... Arizona State has scored in all 16 of its trips inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, with 13 touchdowns. ... UCLA won its first three games by an average of six points, ASU by 26 in its first three.