Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 10/27/12
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Noel Mazzone bestowed a special title on Brett Hundley on the Tuesday before UCLA's road game at Arizona State. "I told him, 'Brett, I think today's the day,'" the Bruins offensive coordinator said. "You're the starting quarterback. I'm anointing you." "It was kind of weird," said, Hundley, who has owned that title since training camp. "But I was like, 'OK, what do I need to do?'" More efforts like Saturday's will do just fine. Playing against the nation's top-ranked pass defense, Hundley completed 19 of 29 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns as the Bruins asserted themselves as legitimate contenders in the Pac-12 South Division race with a 45-43 win over the Sun Devils. With his team trailing by a point in the final minutes at Sun Devil Stadium, the redshirt freshman from Chandler, Arizona led his team 60 yards in 12 plays to set up Ka'imi Fairbairn's 33-yard, game-winning field goal as time expired. "You've got to lead your troops no matter what situation you're in," Hundley said. "God blessed us with a minute thirty-three. I told everyone, 'just do what you're coached to do.'" On the drive, Hundley completed 4 of 5 passes, including a 19-yard completion to Steven Manfro on which he hung in the pocket for a long time with the pass rush bearing down on him. Every team hopes for poise from its quarterback in such situations, but do they expect it from "a redshirt freshman?" said Mazzone, finishing a reporters' question. "He was more poised than I was. I was yelling my ass off at him." That unflappable demeanor was the most influential talking point for the coaching staff when it named Hundley the starter in fall camp. "What you try to do in practices is put guys in situations where they have to solve problems, figure out things, make decisions on the move," UCLA coach Jim Mora said. "There were times in spring ball and early in fall ball where if he had a negative play he was able to put it behind him quickly and learn from it and then he'd make a heck of a play on the next play. "In the role that he is, that's a tremendous credit to him." Hundley applied those same skills on Saturday despite an especially charged Mazzone in his ear. This game meant more than just a win for Mazzone, ASU's former offensive coordinator, who left when Dennis Erickson was fired last season. "I was an emotional wreck all week," said Mazzone of returning to Tempe. "But to be honest with you, once we fell behind 14-0 I didn't give a (expletive) about that any more. I was just trying to survive and get our offense going. Brett did a nice job of not panicking at the end like me." Hundley laughed when apprised of Mazzone's assessment. "I love coach Mazzone," he said. "He trusts me with his offense and I trust him with the play calls. Together, we're going to do a lot of big things." In the school's big-picture dreams, so will the Bruins. With Hundley at the helm and Mora guiding the long under-achieving program, UCLA is showing signs of returning to its rightful place in the college football pecking order. Saturday's win was another step on that long staircase. "It helps you believe in what you're doing when you go on the road and find yourself in a tough environment," Mora said. "When you don't come from behind once but you come from behind twice, there's a sense of belief in yourself as a player and in the systems that you're installing -- but only if we don't gloss over the negatives that still happen in the game. "We've got to learn from those and we intend to." Follow Craig Morgan on Twitter
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

LeBron James and Kyrie Irving ate the Celtics’ heart during the second half of Game 4

NFL to reportedly bring back fun touchdown celebrations

Mike Trout explains why he doesn’t look at advanced stats

Reds’ Joey Votto shuts down heckler with “I remember when you used to be thin”

Rob Gronkowski gets new contract, chance to double salary

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Padres offering $99 ticket plan for five June wins or 16 June games – whatever happens first

Former Jets WR Devin Smith found out he was cut via Twitter

Roger Goodell tweets ‘Key & Peele’ joke about relaxed celebration rules

Martavis Bryant: ‘I know this is my last chance’

Glennon: ‘This is my year and I’m not worried about the future’

Durant apologizes for response to fans complaining about blowouts

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

Box Score 5/23: Preds, Warriors move on to respective Finals

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Best of Yardbarker: Gregg Popovich doesn't mince words

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Dejounte Murray gets his calls blocked twice

It's reality check time for the Texas Rangers

The 'Walk on home, boy' quiz

NBA Weekend Awards: Who will take a bite of the Snow White Crystal Apple?

Why wait? Our too soon Cavaliers-Warriors NBA Finals preview

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'How two award snubs might shake up the NBA' quiz

Preparing for the BIG3: Q&A with BIG3 co-founder Jeff Kwatinetz

Two months in and Nintendo's Switch dominates 2017 video game market

Getaway Day: League leaders falter allowing new teams to surge ahead

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker