Trojans Topple Devils in Comeback Win

In the endless list of sport clichés, there's one saying that can describe USC's 38-28 win ASU – turning on the switch. The Sun Devils lead the Trojans 21-3 at halftime, and were in control of the game. But unfortunately that proverbial switch went on for USC in the second half, and the visitors outscored their hosts 35-7 in the last thirty minutes of the game.

ASU (3-2, 1-1) managed only two first downs in the opening quarter, but USC (4-0, 2-0) fell victim to their own penalties and miscues. The only scoring of the period took place when Terry Richardson returned a 84-yard punt for a touchdown at the 5:41 mark. In the closing moments of the quarter, Sam Keller was intercepted by Oscar Lua deep in Sun Devil territory. A Jamar Williams sack on third down, forced the Trojans to settle for Mario Danelo 36-yard field goal.

A great Chris MacDonald punt pins the visitors on the USC 5-yard line, but the Trojans were able to march to the Devils' 37-yard, just to turn the ball over on downs. Five straight completions by Keller end with a Jamaal Lewis score from seven yards out. USC goes three and out, and ASU extends its lead to 21-3, when Keegan Herring ran into the end zone for five yards with 4:34 remaining in the half.

The Trojans came roaring out of the gate in the second half, and on their first drive in the third stanza they cover 80 yards in just over two minutes, and LenDale White begins his masterful second half with a 32-yard rushing score. Another Keller interception, following a USC fumble, leads the second touchdown for USC in third quarter, this time a 24-yard scamper by Reggie Bush and the visitors find themselves down only 21-17.

USC fullback David Kirtman was the surprising receiving threat in the visitors offense this afternoon. His 42-yard reception was the highlight of a 89-yard drive, that drove his team to the one-yard line and culminated with a Matt Leinart sneak that put the Trojans on top for the first time 24-21. The Sun Devils woke up from their offensive slump following that score, and Keller hits Burghgraef for a one-yard score and the final points on the day for ASU with 5:57 left in the game.

In the ensuing possession Bush answered with 34-yard rushing touchdown and had the Trojans regain the lead for good 31-28. The last score of the game came on a White 46-yard run following a Keller interception. The ASU signal caller was sacked three times in his team's last series, and the game effectively ended when the junior was picked off for the fifth time, when throwing into the end zone.

Keller went 26-45 for 347 yards and two touchdowns. Herring paced ASU with 60 yards on 15 carries, while Hagan had another monster game with 162 yards on ten catches. Dale Robinson was the leader in tackles with 14, and Zach Catanese was also in double digit tackles with one less stop. Leinart was 23-39 for 258 yards, with no touchdown passes or picks. White and Bush clearly won the contest for USC when they each scored twice on the ground, and ran for 197 and 158 yards respectively.

A disappointed Sun Devil team must pick up the pieces and face a formidable Oregon squad in Tempe this Saturday evening. The team's ability to put this loss behind them will go a long way in defining the rest of the season. All isn't lost in the 2005 campaign, and this weekend the maroon and gold must show that they are ready to concur some other attainable goals.

Sparky's Sundries So this is what the end zones will look like when the Cardinals leave Sun Devil stadium? Definitely something to look forward to…and now to the bitter losing fan section: Why was the USC marching band playing the same tune they belt out after a touchdown at the time where Rudy Burgess rushes for a first down to the lip of the end zone to set up a Sun Devil score? Is that something worthy of praise?...Marcus Allen, former USC great was in attendance…great showing by the student section not only in the stands (what a sea of gold!), but also in ESPN's college Gameday broadcast…with his 162 yards, Hagan moved into fifth in Pac-10 history with 3,322 career receiving yards and needs only seven catches to move into the top five for career catches…Keller fell short by six attempts to break the school's consecutive passes without an interception set by Mike Pagel…Richardson's 84-yard punt return for a touchdown was the first time ASU scored in such fashion since Shaun McDonald in 2000, ironically also against USC…

Sun Devil Source Top Stories