TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Marion Grice scored
four touchdowns, two on passes from Taylor Kelly, and Arizona State used
consecutive big plays in the third quarter to race past Southern
California 62-41 on Saturday night.
Arizona State (3-1, 1-1 Pac-12) trailed by 1 after USC opened the third quarter with a quick scoring drive.
The Sun Devils ran away from the Trojans after that, scoring a pair of touchdowns 47 seconds apart.
Kelly orchestrated the first, hitting
D.J. Foster in stride for a 74-yard touchdown pass. Alden Darby was
next, stepping in front of a pass by Cody Kessler for a 46-yard
interception return that put the Sun Devils up 34-21.
Tre Madden and Justin Davis each scored three touchdowns for USC (3-2, 0-2 Pac-12).
It wasn’t nearly enough with Arizona
State piling up yards while scoring its most points ever against the
Trojans and matching the most ever scored against USC.
Behind Kelly and Grice, the Sun Devils
racked up 612 total yards against a defense that had not allowed more
than 285 yards or 14 points this season. USC allowed 479 yards its
previous two games combined.
The nation’s scoring leader coming in,
Grice pushed his touchdown total to 12 — 18 the past seven games over
two seasons — with catches of 11 and 8 yards along with runs of 9 and
Kelly completed 23 of 34 passes for 351 yards.
Madden had 194 total yards, with two touchdowns receiving, and Davis had 122 yards and three scores on the ground.
Kessler threw for 295 yards and a pair
of touchdowns, and Marqise Lee became USC’s career yards receiving
leader after catching seven passes for 92 yards.
Already with a conference loss each,
neither team wanted another; 0-2 would be a huge hill to climb toward a
spot in the Pac-12 championship game.
Advantage: Arizona State.
USC looked good early, rolling over the
Sun Devils on a pair of scoring drives in the first half. Davis capped
the first with a 26-yard run and Madden the second with a 10-yard
reception to put the Trojans up 14-7.
Not much went right after that.
USC closed the first half with a pair
of turnovers — an interception on a ball that went off Lee’s hands and a
fumble by Madden — to set up Zane Gonzalez field goals.
Settling for field goals looked like it
might hurt Arizona State when USC quickly marched down the field for a
touchdown to open the third quarter.
Lee caught a 51-yard pass on the drive
to pass Johnny Morton’s school record of 3,201 career receiving yards,
and Madden followed with a 24-yard touchdown run that put the Trojans up
No worries for the quick-striking Sun Devils.
Kelly found Foster open over the middle
on the next play — something the Trojans had trouble defending early
in the game — and he raced off for a 74-yard touchdown.
Darby returned an interception 70 yards
for a touchdown against USC last season and made it two straight years
with a pick-six, racing off for a 46-yarder after reading Kessler’s
Arizona State kept the momentum
rolling, moving quickly down the field for an 8-yard touchdown pass from
Kelly to Grice that put the Sun Devils up 41-21. Grice followed with
his third touchdown of the night, a 9-yard run off right tackle that put
the Sun Devils up 48-21.
USC tried to rally, pulling within
48-34 on a 48-yard touchdown reception by Madden and Davis’ 15-yard
scoring run, but Grice put the game out of reach with his 28-yard
scamper to the left pylon with just over 7 minutes left.