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Arizona State outplays No. 7 UCLA, hands Bruins first loss

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Arizona State gets road upset over UCLA (1:19)

UCLA gets knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten after getting stunned by Arizona State at home 38-23. (1:19)

PASADENA, Calif. -- You were warned. All offseason, you were warned.

The level of parity in the Pac-12 -- and in the South Division in particular -- makes the conference nearly impossible to handicap with much accuracy. Although No. 7 UCLA was clearly the superior team in the first four weeks of the season, a 38-23 loss to Arizona State shouldn't be that surprising.

There was nothing fluky about Arizona State's win, either. The Sun Devils were in control for most of the game, as they outgained UCLA 465 yards to 342 and made things extremely tough for quarterback Josh Rosen.

What the win means for Arizona State: Don’t count the Sun Devils out in the Pac-12 South. A week after looking like it didn't belong on the same field as USC, Arizona State showed it was way too soon to dismiss it as a potential threat in the division. Optimism waned after four weeks of uninspired play, but the Sun Devils team that showed up Saturday at the Rose Bowl looked every bit the part of the version that was widely expected coming into the season. Granted, it’s only one victory, but it was essential to keeping the team relevant.

What the loss means for UCLA: This game takes away from the momentum the Bruins were building and leaves a smaller margin for error to win the division, but it shouldn’t have been too unexpected. As well as UCLA played to start the season, the odds it would go through Pac-12 play unscathed were minute. The Bruins head into their bye week with a chance to regroup, but it doesn’t get any easier, with a trip to No. 18 Stanford on Oct. 15. The Cardinal owns a seven-game win streak against the Bruins.

Player of the game: Arizona State QB Mike Bercovici. He completed 27 of 44 passes for 273 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception. Those aren't overly impressive numbers, but he came up with plays when needed, including a perfectly executed 34-yard touchdown run on a read-option to make it 22-10 early in the third quarter.

Stat of the game: UCLA converted on just three of 14 third-down attempts, which led to nine punts from two punters. The Bruins' inability to extend drives was crucial.