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November 11, 2007

Arizona State at UCLA Recap

Game Ticker | box score

PASADENA, Calif.(AP) Arizona State's Rudy Carpenter, who grew up in the Los Angeles suburbs, was happy the Sun Devils finally won a game in the Rose Bowl.

After No. 9 ASU held off UCLA 24-20 on Saturday, Carpenter said he wouldn't mind playing another game in Pasadena sometime soon.

"This win is huge for our team. We hadn't won here since 1996," the Sun Devils' quarterback said. "It feels really good to hear our crowd in (the Bruins' stadium).

"The possibility of me being back home in a month and a half to play in the Rose Bowl, that would be great fun for me."

There are many possible scenarios left for the Sun Devils (9-1, 6-1 Pac-10), including a shot at the conference title and a berth in the Rose Bowl Game.

As the game ended, a throng of ASU fans chanted, "USC! USC!" The Sun Devils' next game, against No. 12 Southern California on Thanksgiving in Tempe, looks like a pivotal one.

Carpenter, threw for 200 yards and a touchdown, Chris McGaha had nine receptions for 123 yards, and Keegan Herring rushed for 116 yards on 22 carries, including a 71-yard touchdown run to help Arizona State hold off the injury-riddled Bruins.

The Sun Devils were coming off their lone loss, a 35-23 defeat by No. 3 Oregon in Eugene.

ASU coach Dennis Erickson said UCLA played well, and "We made some plays. You don't win nine games without making plays. We always seem to find a way."

The battered Bruins (5-5, 4-3) lost for the fourth time in five games, including a 20-6 defeat by Notre Dame that is still the Irish's lone win this year.

Despite using their fourth quarterback of the year, the Bruins put up a surprisingly good fight against the Sun Devils. Osaar Rasshan, who had been converted to wide receiver then switched back to quarterback last month after injuries to the Bruins' first two quarterbacks, went 14-of-27 for 181 yards with one interception. He ran for 41 yards on 13 carries.

That was, however, about it for the UCLA offense.

"Osaar did a nice job with his first start, fighting through some circumstances and some rough moments," UCLA coach Karl Dorrell said. "(Tailback) Craig Sheppard did the same thing. He did a nice job of carrying the load with the football.

"We played well defensively most of the time."

Safety Dennis Keyes logged 14 tackles for the Bruins. Chris Horton had three of their six sacks. Carpenter was sacked nine times in the loss to Oregon.

Carpenter went 16-of-31 against the Bruins, including a 9-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Williams.

The Sun Devils fell behind 10-0 early, trailed 13-10 at halftime, then went ahead to stay on Dimitri Nance's 11-yard touchdown run five minutes into the third quarter.

The teams traded touchdowns during a 13-second span of the third quarter. Herring reeled off his long scoring run for a 24-13 lead, but Matt Slater returned the ensuing kickoff 89 yards to cut the deficit to four points.

That ended the scoring.

Down by six after Kai Forbath kicked a 42-yard field goal 23 seconds before halftime, the Sun Devils narrowed the gap to 13-10 by turning a mistake by UCLA defensive end Bruce Davis into a 53-yard field goal by Thomas Weber.

Carpenter threw a pass from his own 49-yard line that was knocked down in the end zone as time ran out in the second quarter. But Davis was called for roughing the passer, the penalty moved the ball to the UCLA 36, and ASU got an automatic first down with no time on the clock.

Weber, a redshirt freshman, then kicked his career-long 53 yarder. He has made 19 of 20 this season.

"The big play for us was when they got a penalty just before the half, allowing us to kick a field goal," Erickson said. "It was big.

Said Dorrell: "The call at the end of the first half and the big run (by Herring) in the third quarter were a couple of plays we'd like to have back."

Forbath kicked his second field goal to seemingly send UCLA into halftime with a 13-7 lead. But Carpenter completed a 12-yard pass to McGaha to the 49, then two plays later, Davis drew the costly penalty.

Forbath earlier kicked a 28-yarder, and later in the first quarter, Terrence Austin returned Weber's punt 68 yards to the ASU one. Sheppard, a walk-on pressed into duty by injuries at the tailback spot, bulled over from the 2 to give UCLA a 10-0 lead. He finished with 56 yards on 12 carries.

Slater's kickoff return was his third for a touchdown this year, setting both a season and career record for UCLA. The three in a season also tied the Pac-10 record set by USC's Anthony Davis in 1974.



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