clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USC Takes Arizona State to the Woodshed

Division ramifications were on the line in Tempe

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

On a balmy night in Tempe, the Sun Devils and USC Trojans battled it out in a Pac-12 South Division tilt. The Trojans came in licking their wounds from a drubbing by Notre Dame. Arizona State was coming in on a high note by beating Washington and Utah the last two games.

Which team would assert itself on Saturday night?


The Trojans came to play in the first half on Saturday night.

Sam Darnold, who was throwing more interceptions this year than people were accustomed to, came out on fire. Sam threw for 126 yards on 7-12 passing and added two touchdowns.

The Trojans were on fire.

It appeared that all the Trojans needed was a game against Arizona State to feel better about themselves.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

USC went to the second quarter up 14-3 and had all of the momentum.

The Trojans put together drives of 75, 75, 80, 51, 88, and 77 yards to put the Sun Devils underneath their cleats in the first half. USC was looking to put the Sun Devils out of their misery early and often in the first half.

To say it was ugly, would be a gross understatement.

The only part of the first half where the Sun Devils got a little momentum was right before the half. A Hail Mary was thrown by Manny Wilkins and was caught on the deflection by Kyle Williams.

Most people thought it wasn’t a touchdown because it appeared that Williams didn’t have the ball in the end zone even though his body was in the end zone. However, after replay took a look at it, it was determined that Williams did get the ball in for the score.

The referees had to bring both teams out of the locker room to kick the extra point.

Going into the half it was 31-10 Trojans.

Arizona State would receive the second half kickoff and needed a score to gain back some confidence against USC.

The Sun Devils went tempo with their opening second half drive and it worked. Manny Wilkins got his Devils down the field for a score within the first few minutes of the third quarter. It was an 11 play, 75 yard drive that ended with Wilkins going up and over the top at the one yard line for the score.

Devils made it a bit of a ballgame at 31-17.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The good feelings didn’t last long for the Sun Devils.

USC responded quickly. Ronald Jones scampered in from 64 yards out. Just like that, the oxygen that was left in the building for Arizona State was gone. That run put the Trojans up 38-17 and the only thing left was for the fat lady to come out and sing.

The Trojans did add a field goal and pick six late in the game for the final margin of victory, but lets face it, the Trojans really were never threatened in this ball game.

Arizona State did not bring their “A” game, they barely brought their “C” game on Saturday night. The Sun Devils need to rebound from this game and get the win against the Colorado Buffaloes next week in Tempe.

The Sun Devils don’t want the Oregon, Washington, and Utah wins to go to waste with a late season swoon. Neither do their fans.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Arizona State Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

USC was the better team and they simply showed it. Is this the game where the Trojans go on a tear and win out? We shall see, but the Trojans served notice that they can’t be forgotten about.