TEMPE, Ariz. — There were postcard moments to sum up the collective "phew!" that went up from the UCLA sideline Saturday.
The horde of Bruins piling on kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn, leaving him with a bloody nose, after he buried a 33-yard field goal on the last play for a 45-43 victory over Arizona State.
Quarterback Brett Hundley and offensive coordinator Noel Mazzone doing a quick waltz around the end zone after Hundley danced the Bruins down the field in the last 1 minute 33 seconds.
Guard Jeff Baca kneeling on the grass at Sun Devil Stadium, looking for a moment of peace and solitude only to take one more hit, this time by Hundley, who tackled him to the ground.
Sighs of relief after an exhausting afternoon that left the Bruins in the thick of the Pac-12 South Division race.
"I have never been so tired at the end of a game in my life," UCLA linebacker Jordan Zumwalt said.
Zumwalt could smile about it in the end.
Moments earlier he had been facedown in the end zone, after Arizona State quarterback Taylor Kelly had flipped a touchdown pass to D.J. Foster for a 43-42 lead.
But all of UCLA's football sins Saturday — and the Bruins had a bundle — were forgiven in the last 1:33.
Hundley completed four passes for 45 yards on the drive.
"I told Brett before he went out there, I'll make some calls, you make some plays," Mazzone said.
Johnathan Franklin gained 19 yards, the last seven putting the ball at the 15-yard line with two seconds left.
"Johnathan is like Yoda," Mazzone said. "He never panics."
Fairbairn, who struggled on longer kicks this season, was dead-solid perfect this time.
"I told him the same thing I always tell him, 'Keep your eyes back and finish,' " said punter Jeff Locke, Fairbairn's holder. "He killed it."
Then the Bruins nearly killed him.
"I was expecting it," Fairbairn said. "I wasn't going to run from it."
This was a moment the Bruins would like to look back on as their emergence from more than a decade of mediocrity. Some already were.
"This wasn't the 'old Bruins,' " defensive end Datone Jones said. "This is a new era."
UCLA (6-2 overall, 3-2 in Pac-12) is tied with Arizona State (5-3, 3-2) and just behind USC (4-2) in the division standings.
"It's playoff season," said Franklin, who had 164 yards rushing.
The victory, UCLA Coach Jim Mora said, "gives players a sense of belief in themselves." But, he added, "only if you don't gloss over the negatives."
There were enough of those.
"There's never been a perfect athletic competition," Mora said, then caught himself. "I guess Nadia Comaneci had a 10. "
This was more like a 5.
The game started with a UCLA mistake. The Bruins won the coin toss and wanted to defer to the second half. The officials took this to mean UCLA chose to kick off. So Arizona State got the ball to start the second half as well.
UCLA's Steven Manfro muffed a punt to set up the Sun Devils' first touchdown. Arizona State, which had 220 yards rushing, trampled over the Bruins to take a 14-0 lead.
The Bruins had 77 yards in penalties, the most costly being a pass-interference call on Stan McKay on a fourth-down play with Arizona State scrambling to rally from a 42-33 deficit in the last nine minutes. The drive ended in a field goal, then the Sun Devils took the lead on Kelly's fourth touchdown pass of the game.
Hundley overcame all that. He was battered and pursued all day, but completed 19 of 29 passes for 274 yards and four touchdowns. Damien Thigpen caught two touchdown passes, covering 65 and 20 yards.
Arizona State helped out, twice extending UCLA touchdown drives with penalties.
Kelly threw for 315 yards and four touchdowns. But he also made an ill-advised pass from his own end zone at the end of the first half. Dalton Hilliard intercepted and returned the ball to the five, setting up Franklin's touchdown run for a 21-17 UCLA lead.
The Bruins overcame their mistakes. The Sun Devils did not.
"There are always things to clean up," Mora said. But, he said, "We got in a shootout. Our offense and field goal team bailed us out."