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The last time the Arizona State Sun Devils appeared on the road, it wasn't pretty. 

Arizona State dropped its first game of the season to BYU in Provo only three weeks into the new season, yet it felt as if the Sun Devils beat themselves rather than the Cougars winning 27-17. 

Sixteen accepted penalties against ASU and four turnovers is absolutely not a recipe for success. Factor in a rowdy BYU home crowd that impacted the Sun Devils in certain points throughout the game, and it was evident Arizona State simply just didn't look ready for its first road contest of the season.

Now, as the Sun Devils prepare for arguably their biggest game of the season in a matchup with UCLA at the Rose Bowl, Arizona State looks to improve tenfold in its second chance to steal a win on the road against a ranked opponent. 

Sun Devils Prepare for Road Trip to UCLA

Arizona State head coach Herm Edwards spoke about the message he will be delivering to his players ahead of Saturday night's meeting with UCLA.

“I think the message is when you don’t give the opponent extra opportunities through your own errors, you can play somewhat of a consistent game both on offense and defense. That's what you want and when you do that, you have a chance to win," said Edwards.

"We lost to a team that is 16-1 (since the start of the 2020 season). BYU is 16-1 and when you watch them play, they don’t give teams extra opportunities due to miscues, they don’t turn the ball over, they don't put themselves in bad positions by giving up fouls and they are very consistent, and they play with consistency. 

"That's what you want, to be a consistent team. It doesn't mean you are always going to win, but you give yourself a chance to win when you don't beat yourself and that has always been my philosophy as a head coach: just don't muck it up. Don't muck it up with fouls, penalties and turnovers. Try to play a clean game. That is what every coach aspires to do; play a clean game. If you do that, you have a chance to win games, and you have to have talent and have to have a good team, but that’s part of the process too.

With many players from California on ASU's roster, Edwards acknowledged this road trip would be different than their first one to Provo.

He said, "It is a game where a lot of guys from Los Angeles are going home. Guys want to play well when they go home. (I'm) not saying they don’t want to play well all the time, but there is family, friends, there are all these distractions when you go home and we have to be careful with that. It’s important that we don't commit a lot of fouls. Those fouls get you in trouble, they give opportunities to the opponent when you get in a game where there are a lot of fouls."

One of those California players, Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels, isn't reading too much into his homecoming.

"Only thing on my mind is going there and coming back with a win," said Daniels. 

"0-2 against UCLA, I want to get the chance to go back home, play in front of my family that doesn't get the chance to see me, just those couple of games, but just coming back with a win is the main thing. That’s the main focus of this team (and) the main focus for me is to do whatever it takes to come back with a win."

Edwards was complimentary of UCLA, offering these words to open his press conference earlier this week:

"They have a senior defense, most of these guys are all back. They don’t allow you to run the ball at all; they’re very good against the run. They score a lot of points on offense, they’re averaging about almost 40 points a game and play good third-down defense.

"They have a dynamic quarterback, he can throw it and run it. They have two big bruising runners, they run the football. They’re a very complementary football team. They don’t allow you to run, but they can run the ball and that says something. They can throw the ball downfield, they’re very explosive in the passing game and they have a good punt returner. They’re a team that plays well and they’re on a roll right now, they’re playing really well. 

"We have to muster up our ability to stay focused and we have a lot of players that have played in, and come from Los Angeles and they have to get their mindset to go back home. A lot of times they get excited about going back home, but they have to keep their poise and make sure that this thing doesn’t get away from them. I think we have enough guys now that have been there numerous times in L.A. that hopefully they can keep their emotions in check.”

There's no denying the magnitude of the game against the Bruins, and after a rocky start to its road performances, Arizona State appears ready for a redemption game in the Rose Bowl.