UCLA red-shirt freshman Brett Hundley (17) led his team the length of the field with less than two minutes to play for a game winning field goal on the final play of the game. It was one of UCLA’s most meaningful road victories in years. Photo by Matt York (AP)
Last second win at Arizona State makes UCLA bowl eligible
Last season it was nearly a farce when UCLA had to pension the NCAA to allow them to play in a bowl game after a 6-7 season. They ended up one game under .500 because they were allowed to play in the PAC 12 championship game when USC was ineligible for postseason play. That meant that they had the opportunity to get blown out by Oregon.
This year is a different story, and after they gutted out a victory on the final play of the game at Arizona St., which may have been their best road victory in years, UCLA has earned a bowl spot with four games to play, and they are in a position to legitimately win the PAC 12 Southern division.
The path ahead for UCLA will be extremely tough though. They had issues stopping Arizona State’s high powered offense in the 45-43 win, now they will have to deal with No. 22 Arizona’s offense, which USC could not stop in a 39-36 loss.
UCLA is back in the AP Top 25 for the third time this season, ranking No. 25. But the other two times they entered the rankings, they lost the following week. A win at the Rose Bowl over Arizona will keep them in the southern division race and it will be another stepping stone for a team that has struggled for the better part of the last decade.
UCLA is not in the drivers seat in the southern division, but they do control their own destiny. After Arizona, they travel to Washington State, which is a very winnable game, but then they finish the season with home games against No. 17 USC and No. 14 Stanford.
Standing in UCLA’s way of earning their way to the PAC 12 title game are three ranked opponents. So far this season they are 1-0 against ranked teams, defeating No. 16 Nebraska. They lost by a touchdown to Oregon State, who became ranked after that victory.
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