Pivotal win helps Sun Devils snap a streak

11 years ago at the L.A. Coliseum was the last time the Sun Devils defeated the USC Trojans and tonight that all changed. The maroon and gold came out on top tonight at Sun Devil Stadium with a 43-22 win over the Trojans. The 2011 Sun Devils can now say that broke the losing streak to the Trojans and on top of that, the group also began conference with a bang.

"It's huge," quarterback Brock Osweiler said. "This is a football game that we've had circled on our calendar for a very long time. The Missouri game was big but that was non-conference. This was a Pac-12 South game. To be able to go out there and get the win in front of our great fans means a lot to us and it's definitely very special."

Osweiler arrive at the post-game press conference with what he calls his "entourage" which consisted of the 5 teammates that in his opinion deserve the most credit tonight: his offensive line.

"I thought media was pretty harsh on these guys last week," Osweiler said. "They came out and they're the real reason we won this football game so I wanted to bring a few of them."

Last week the maroon and gold offensive line was criticized over their performance against Illinois but that didn't stop them from coming out fired up and confident against the Trojans.

"We know what we're capable of," left guard Mike Marcisz commented. "We ran the ball like crazy today; we know what we're capable of."

The offensive lines performance tonight against the Trojans is what ultimately allowed the maroon and gold to utilize their run game, equipped with a healthy Cameron Marshall who showed no signs of injury with 25 carries for 142 yards and 3 touchdowns for the night.

"Cameron had a phenomenal night," Osweiler said of his teammate. "He had great vision the whole night. He saw the cutback lanes, he saw the holes and he was able to carry a load. He had a lot of carries after contact and a lot of yards after contact. He did a great job but the credit needs to go to these five guys who were up in the trenches making the holes for Cameron but like I said, a lot of credit to the both of them, the line, Cameron and the running backs."

The status of Marshall's health was unclear throughout the week. The running back had limited participation in practice during the week, still recovering from an ankle sprain but despite all that came out against the Trojans giving 100%.

"I felt great," Marshall admitted. "Being injured and banged up is all part of football so sometimes you're going to have to fight through it and not every day you're going to feel 100%. Ever since the season started I don't think anybody has felt 100%. Its just one of those things that I'm going to have to fight through this year."

Things appeared to be falling into place for the Sun Devils, leading 21-9 at the half with the Trojans unable to make it to the end zone, but after halftime adjustments were made it appeared that momentum shifted. USC came out strong in the second half and took the lead in the third 22-21.

"We knew they were going to come out and run some things that we hadn't seen in the first half," linebacker Shelly Lyons commented. "They got into some formations and started running some plays that we hadn't seen. It took us awhile to adjust but we did and USC is a good team so we knew they weren't going to go down without a fight. We were able to keep our composure, regain the lead and take it from there."

Lyons was not only part of the unit that stopped the Trojans scoring drives but also was able to secure the win for the maroon and gold late in the 4th quarter with a 41-yard interception returned for the touchdown, his first Pick-6 of his career as a Sun Devil.

"Barkley got rushed out of the pocket," Lyons said. "I saw a running back that was wide open from Matt's standpoint and I knew since he was under pressure he would try to hit him. I broke early and I was going to tackle the running back but it fell out of his hands so it was like Christmas. It was my first pick of my career here and to take it to the house against USC at a crucial moment of the game, I can't even explain it."


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