A native of Chandler, Ariz., Hundley was heavily recruited by the Sun Devils but was ultimately signed by the Bruins in 2011. He threw 36 touchdowns with only four interceptions his last two years at Chandler High School — propelling him to the second rated dual-threat QB in the nation.
Hundley now plays for the coach who recruited him the hardest: former ASU offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone. Add this to the endless list of bulletin board material this week for Arizona State.
Hundley has become the instant success he was expected to be when signed to play in Pasadena and helped turn around a program that had been the “little sister” of cross-town rival USC.
In 2012, Hundley was named the Bruins’ starting QB as a redshirt freshman and didn’t disappoint. His first play against Rice was a 72-yard run for a touchdown and he didn’t let up from there. He finished the year with 3,745 yards passing with 29 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions along with nine rushing touchdowns.
Arizona State fans will remember that Hundley guided UCLA to a 45-43 win over the Sun Devils last season on a last-second field goal, answering ASU quarterback Taylor Kelly’s drive to take the lead. The Bruins’ season ended with a 9-5 mark, highlighted by a win over USC and a Pac-12 South Championship.
This season, Hundley is off to a similar start with he and Kelly posting almost identical stats. Due to UCLA’s inability to run the ball, Hundley has taken the majority of the carries to lead his team in rushing with 502 yards. He has also passed for 2,384 yards for 20 touchdowns and eight interceptions (compared to Kelly’s 2,838 yards passing with 24 TDs and 10 INTs, along with 312 yards rushing and seven TDs).
Although Hundley has put up great numbers for UCLA, one would argue ASU ultimately got the better quarterback in Kelly, despite only being rated a three-star prospect by Rivals.com in 2010.
On that note, this week the two programs will play the biggest game of the season thus far. Both teams are evenly matched in virtually every area except defense (UCLA is coming off allowing 31 points to Washington, who played without their starting QB). Arizona State has a clear advantage if they can contain Hundley in the pocket and take away his first read. Hundley loves throwing while rolling to his left, and when left in the pocket, often locks on to his first target.
Hundley always has the potential for big broken plays (see tape of last year’s ASU-UCLA game), but if the Sun Devil defense can continue it stellar play as of late you can look for ASU to punch its ticket to the Pac-12 South title.