Noteworthy: USC dropped by ASU at buzzer

PLenty of notes, quotes and numbers from the game USC fans don't really want to think about. And can you blame them after the way the Trojans dropped by a 38-34 score after leading 34-25 with 3:02 left.

Hard to imagine two more different postgame scenes. USC players and coaches got to their lockerroom in record time. There were no well-wishers, no hangers-on, no family and precious few recruits, it seemed.

Just the sounds of silence, and the cursing coming from all sides bouncing off the tunnel's walls from within and without.

That was until the grinning, giggling, celebrating Sun Devils came up the ramp. Never saw a happier bunch. They still weren't sure how they did that. Did they really?

ASU Coach Todd Graham wasn't leaving the interview tent, it seemed. He was enjying this way too much. "Man, that was the most unbelievable night I've had in coaching," Graham said of stealing the 38-34 win from a USC team that led 34-25 with 3:02 to go.

"When he caught the ball, my heart stopped<" Graham said of the Hail Mary that once again worked, "That's what this game is all about. You can be where we were last week and be here this week So proud of this team . . . from a team standpoint, the best win we've had since we've been here . . . It was the most incredible moment I've had in coaching, that play."

Not exactly the same reaction from USC. "That's why you play 60 minutes," Steve Sarkisian said. "That's why you play four quarters." Or maybe not quite 60 minutes or four quarters.

"When you go up at the end of the game like that with three minutes left, it's never over," Sark said. Even if it should be. "You learn the hard way in games like this. I feel bad for our kids." Although no real need there. The USC kids felt bad enough for themselves.

"I thought they fought hard, competed well and gave amazing effort," Sark said. "But we didn't get it done in the end. We have a great group of guys and tremendous leaders. We'll bounce back and fight back and play a hard-fought game on Saturday night."

But that's a long way from a team that was No 9 in the nation after knocking off Stanford in Week 2 before losing two of the next three.

BY THE NUMBERS


4-0-1995

For the fourth straight game, USC did not commit a turnover. The last time a USC team did that was back in 1995 when they did that against Houston, Arizona, Arizona State and Cal.

0, 1st

For the first time all year, Arizona State was held scoreless in the first quarter.

55

That's the number of originally recruited scholarship players USC suited up for the ASU game.

182

That's how many passes Cody Kessler has thrown now without an interception this season.

3.5, 8.5

Su'a Cravens had 3.5 tackles for loss the first quarter giving him 8. 5 for the season now.

Last play

For the first time since back-to-back losses to Washington and Stanford in 2010, USC lost on the last play of the game. But it's been since 2000 and a 32-30 loss to Stanford that USC lost on a last-second pass play.

510

ASU's 510 yards passing is the second most by an opponent in USC history, second only to the 526 of Notre Dame and Joe Theisman in 1970.

248-52, 510-273, 5-0, 3-0

Big imbalances in offensive totals. USC dominated the run 248-52 and was dominated in the air, 510-273. USC outdid ASU 3-0 in rushing TDs but ASU won the aerial TD battle 5-0.

1999

That's the last time an ASU team won a game in the Coliseum against USC.

Injury report:

None reported. But then none were reported last week and as we found out Saturday, Zach Smth had a concussion and USC's walkon snapper missed the game when he didn't get cleared and that messed up USC's punt game eventually.

Quotables


CODY KESSLER On the game: "I've got nothing for you."

STEVE SARKISIAN On the last play: "That's the tricky part with seven seconds left we were trying to plan for both. Hindsight is 20-20, you defend the Hail Mary but we didn't get it done. It was an awkward Hail Mary. The ball floated back to the middle of the field and it was a heck of a play by 21 tracking the ball and making the play on it."

Hayes Pullard On whether he'd ever been back defending a play like the game-winning Hail Mary as a midle linebacker: "Not exactly in those scenarios, just boxing out defenders."

Adoree Jackson On the last play: They had too much time . . . I thought someone would knock it down . . . we stopped them early and lost focus."

ARIZONA STATE COACH TODD GRAHAM On the win: "Words can't express what that felt like . . . It was one of the hardest fought games I've been a part of . . . we talked about this in the locker . . . we reflected on everyone's path here and come to the Coliseum and win like that on the last play, I don't know if it gets any better that."

ASU QB Mike Bercovici On the final play: "We practice that play every Thursday . . . It was a little it of a prayer, I'll be honest, I didn't think I got it that far. It looked a little bit like a duck. But I needed to give us a chance and who else but Jaelen Strong comes up with it."

ASU WR JAELEN STRONG On his game-winning catch: "I saw the ball in the air and the first thing I thought was I'm going to get this. At first, I thought I don't know if I can get to it but I put my head down and kept running and got it. I don't even remember it."

You can follow me on Twitter at @dweber3440 or email me at weber@uscfootball.com.


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