USC football pulls away from Arizona State in second half of Pac-12 game in Los Angeles
The ASU football team put up some fight against No. 6 USC on Saturday night at the Coliseum in Los Angeles, but came up short in a 42-25 loss in the Pac-12 game.
ASU trailed at halftime, 21-17.
The Sun Devils couldn't contain USC QB Caleb Williams in the game.
Williams went 27-for-37 passing for 348 yards and three touchdowns for the Trojans, often escaping pressure, extending plays and making big throws on the run.
Emory Jones went 23-for-32 for ASU passing with a touchdown. It was his best statistical performance of the season.
Both quarterbacks threw one interception in the game, with Jones' coming with 33 seconds left.
Still, ASU looked a lot better in its second game under interim head coach Shaun Aguano than it did in the first, the team's loss to Utah the previous week, a 34-13 loss in the team's first game without Herm Edwards as coach.
The Sun Devils will host Washington next week while USC will host Washington State.
USC improved to 5-0 with the win. ASU fell to 1-4 with the loss.
The Sun Devils are 1-4 for the first time since 1976.
"This is a huge improvement for Arizona State from last week," ESPN's Rod Gilmore said near the end of the game. "They seem much more focused tonight. Execution is much better.
"This is the best we've seen the Arizona State offense this season."
Look back at these updates from the game.
USC took advantage of the short field after ASU's failed onside kick, going 39 yards over 5-plays to score a touchdown on a 1-yard run from Travis Dye to extend its lead to 42-25 with 3:46 remaining.
Score: USC 42, ASU 25 (3:46 left in game)
ASU almost recovers onside kick vs. USC
The Sun Devils attempted an on-side kick on the ensuing kickoff and appeared to be successful, recovering the ball just as it traveled 10 yards to give Arizona State the ball back on offense.
However, the officials reviewed the play and ASU's recovery was negated because an ASU player had started to block early on the play.
USC recovered ASU's next onside kick attempt.
The Sun Devils cut into USC's lead with a long drive against the Trojans, in which Xazavian Valladay ran for a 2-yard touchdown and then caught the 2-point conversion to pull within 10, 35-25.
ASU's scoring drive, its first of the second half, was for 10 plays and 75 yards and took 4:38 off the clock.
ASU benefitted form a couple defensive pass interference calls on the Trojans on the drive.
Score: USC 35, ASU 25 (6:16 left in fourth quarter)
ASU's defense couldn't stop USC on the Trojans' ensuing possession as USC extended its lead to 35-17 on a 2-yard pass from Caleb Williams to Kyron Hudson.
USC benefitted from a 15-yard pass interference call on the drive.
USC has converted 8-of-9 third down conversions in the game and has dominated the second half to build its lead after only lead by four at the half.
Williams is now 25-for-35 passing for 331 yards and three touchdowns.
USC had an advantage in total yards at the half, 288-218.
It now leads in that category, 448-222.
Score: USC 35, ASU 17 (10:54 left in fourth quarter)
ASU offense a no-show so far in second half vs. USC
ASU's rough second half continued on offense on the Sun Devils' next possession as ASU went three-and-out for the second consecutive time.
Arizona State had 218 yards in the game at the half. It has 222 yards in the game now, early in the fourth quarter.
That's not helping the Sun Devils' chances to spring an upset.
ASU's most recent drive went for -6 yards.
ASU's defense couldn't come up with the big play this time as USC extended its lead to 28-17 on a 2-yard rushing touchdown from Travis Dye.
ASU had USC on third-and-14 on the drive, but Caleb Williams completed a 14-yard pass to Brenden Rice for the first down.
The drive took nine plays and went for 50 yards. It took 5:28 off the clock.
Caleb Williams is now 21-for-30 for USC on the night, throwing for 300 yards and two touchdowns, with one interception.
The Sun Devils have had some chances, but haven't been able to capitalize off them. The offense will now have to step up if ASU wants a chance to stay in this game.
ASU could really use a nice drive to get closer on the scoreboard and to give their defense a chance to rest.
Score: USC 28, ASU 17 (1:10 left in third quarter)
ASU football has first three-and-out of game vs. USC
The Sun Devil offense can't get going so far in the second half. After forcing USC's first turnover of the season, ASU went three-and-out to give the ball back to the Trojans.
ASU defense comes up huge on USC's first possession of second half
USC was marching down the field and appeared poised to extend its lead with a touchdown on its first possession of the second half, but Timarcus Davis elevated and intercepted a pass from Caleb Williams in the end zone to give the Sun Devils the ball back.
USC's drive went for seven plays and 65 yards.
That was second interception of the season for Timarcus Davis. The first one came last week in the loss to Utah.
It's the first turnover of the game, but it is also remarkably USC's first turnover of the season. USC had generated 14 turnovers this season, but hadn't turned the ball over once until Williams' interception.
There's eight minutes left in the third quarter.
ASU football opens second half with first punt of game
The Sun Devils couldn't get much going on their first possession of the second half, going just four yards over six plays and being forced to punt for the first time in the game.
ASU converted a key third-and-11 with an 11-yard pass from Jones to Bryan Thompson early in the drive, but USC sacked Emory Jones on second-and-8 at the ASU 43 and Arizona State couldn't convert on third-and-16.
The Sun Devils held their own against the Trojans in the first half in Los Angeles.
USC outgained ASU 288-218 in the half.
Only two possessions in the half didn't end with points, the last two of the second quarter. ASU forced USC to punt on the second-to-last possession of the half and then time expired for ASU on the last possession.
There were no turnovers in the first two quarters. USC went 5-for-6 on third downs, ASU went 3-for-5.
USC won the passing yardage game, 217-117, but ASU had the advantage on the ground, 101-71.
USC's Caleb Williams went 15-for-23 for 217 yards and two touchdowns.
ASU's Emory Jones was 9-for-11 for 117 yards and a touchdown.
Williams led USC rushers with five carries for 33 yards and a touchdown. Jones had three runs for 15 yards and a touchdown for ASU.
ASU's Xazavian Valladay led all rushers with 57 yards on seven carries.
What a difference a week makes. ASU's Shaun Aguano has to be happy with his team's performance hanging with the No. 6 team in the country on its own home field in the first half, especially after ASU's woes at home against Utah last week.
The Sun Devils have been putting pressure on Williams all night, although he has mainly been able to avoid it. Still, they are turning up the heat on the QB.
ASU's offense has been able to have long, sustained drives to help keep the ASU defense fresh, something that could continue to be key in the second half.
ASU leads the time of possession in the game, 15:09-14:51.
The Sun Devils deferred in the first half, so they will get the ball to start the third quarter.
The Sun Devils forced the Trojans to punt with 38 seconds left in the first half, the first punt of the game, ending an 8-play 34-yard drive for USC that took 1:55 off the clock.
Score: USC 21, ASU 17 (halftime)
ASU football has had the ball three times in the game and has scored all three times.
The Sun Devils' latest score came courtesy of QB Emory Jones' legs.
Jones ran for a 6-yard touchdown to cap ASU's seven play, 75-yard drive and make the score 21-17.
Jones also had a key 9-yard run earlier in the drive, avoiding a sack on the play.
ASU's quarterback is 9-for-11 for 117 yards passing and a touchdown and has three carries for 15 yards and a touchdown.
Score: USC 21, ASU 17 (2:27 left in second quarter)
The ASU football team hasn't been able to stop Caleb Williams through USC's first three possession of the game.
USC scored its third touchdown on those three possessions when Williams connected with tight end Malcolm Epps from 4-yards out.
USC's drive went for 94 yards and took 10 plays. 3:48 went off the clock.
ASU again just missed a big play on defense early in the drive when Caleb Williams somehow completed a pass throwing the ball up to Jordan Addison for 13 yards, just avoiding being tackled in the end zone.
Williams is now 13-for-18 for 187 yards in the game, with the two touchdown passes.
USC has 245 yards in the game. It has 14 first downs and is 4-for-4 on third downs.
Score: USC 21, ASU 10 (6:05 left in second quarter)
The Sun Devils put together a solid drive to respond to USC's score, but ended up having to settle for a 40-yard field by by Carter Brown to pull within 14-10.
Emory Jones appeared to pick up a first down on third and two at the USC 12 on the drive, but a holding penalty pushed the Sun Devils back and stalled the drive.
The Sun Devils converted a fourth-and-one earlier on the drive at the USC 43 when Xazavian Valladay ran for four yards.
Still, there have been a lot of positives for Arizona State early. Jones is 7-for-9 for 79 yards in the game.
Valladay has six carries for 51 yards.
ASU's scoring drive took 12 plays and went for 59 yards. 6:59 went off the clock.
Score: USC 14, ASU 10 (9:53 left in second quarter)
The Sun Devils haven't been able to stop the Trojans on their first two possessions of the game.
USC went 75 yards over 10 plays over 4:36 to regain the lead on a 7-yard pass from Caleb Williams to Mario Williams.
USC is 4-for-4 on third down in the game. Williams is 8-for-11 for 113 yards.
Caleb Williams somehow evaded a sack when he appeared to be wrapped up on third and four at the USC 31 early in the drive, but he escaped the sack and ran 10 yards for a first down.
A 15-yard personal foul on Merlin Robertson for a facemask penalty also aided the Trojans on the drive.
ASU is putting some pressure on Williams, but he has been able to roll out of the pocket and connect with receivers in spite of it.
Score: USC 14, ASU 7 (1:52 left in first quarter)
The Sun Devils matched USC's opening drive with an impressive opening drive of its own, going 74 yards in eight plays over four minutes to even the score, 7-7.
The Sun Devils have struggled on third down this season, but converted a big one on third and five at the ASU 46 when QB Emory Jones connected with Elijhah Badger for 19 yards.
Then, on their second third down of the game (third and four at the USC 29), Jones connected with RB Xazavian Valladay on a 29-yard touchdown pass out of the backfield in a blown coverage for the Trojans.
Jones went 4-for-5 for 59 yards on the drive.
Score: ASU 7, USC 7 (6:28 left in first quarter)
It didn't take the USC football team long to take a lead against Arizona State in Saturday's Pac-12 game at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
The Trojans went 75 yards in nine plays over 4:32 to take a 7-0 lead on the Sun Devils on a 1-yard run by quarterback Caleb Williams.
ASU had USC at third and 6 at the USC 29-yard line early in the drive, but Williams ran for a first down after not being able to handle the snap.
Williams went 5-for-5 for 66 yards on the drive, finding little resistance from ASU's defense.
The Sun Devils, who have really struggled on offense this season, really need to get something going on their first drive.
Score: USC 7, ASU 0 (10:28 left in first quarter)
ASU wins toss, defers to second half
ASU will be missing DE Michael Matus, TE Jacob Newell, OL Joey Ramos and WR Zeke Freeman, all out for season, in the game vs. USC.
Also, DT Omarr Norman-Lott is out for the game, as are DBs Keon and Kejuan Markham (personal).
ASU captains are Kyle Soelle, Merlin Robertson, Case Hatch and LaDarius Henderson.
USC captains are Caleb Williams, TuliTuipulotu, Shane Lee and Justin Dedich.
ASU won the toss and deferred to the second half.
It has been almost two weeks since the Arizona State football program fired coach Herm Edwards and named Shaun Aguano the interim head coach.
Who will be the next Sun Devils' coach?
Speculation continues to swirl around the ASU football coach position with several names being brought up as potential replacements for Edwards in Tempe.
Catch up on some of the latest ASU football coaching chatter with these stories.
- ASU coach speculation surrounds Matt Rhule, Carolina Panthers coach
- ASU coach speculation swirls around Oregon coordinator Kenny Dillingham
- ASU coach speculation includes Tom Herman, former Texas Longhorns coach
- BYU's Kalani Sitake included in Arizona State football coach speculation
- Urban Meyer ASU football speculation returns after Herm Edwards' firing
- Deion Sanders ASU coach speculation swirls after Herm Edwards firing
- Arizona Cardinals' Kliff Kingsbury on list of potential ASU football candidates
- ASU football coach odds: Mike Norvell favored to replace Herm Edwards
- ASU football coach candidates: Who could replace Herm Edwards at ASU?
The game can be seen at 7:30 p.m. MST time on ESPN.
Dave Flemming (play-by-play) and Rod Gilmore (analyst) will be the announcing crew for the game.
The Sun Devils are a 25.5-point underdog in the game, according to Tipico Sportsbook.
ASU is +1300 on the money line in the game.
USC is -5000.
The over/under for the game is set at 60.5 points.
Most sites are predicting a USC victory, but they are split on whether or not the Trojans will cover the point spread.
One site gives USC a 93.7% chance to win the game.
Interestingly, one site's formula is taking the Sun Devils to defeat the Trojans, 37, 32.6.
The Arizona Republic's Michelle Gardner previewed and predicted the outcome of the game in her ASU vs. USC scouting report.
The Arizona State football team is going with white and gold for the game against USC in Los Angeles.
The ASU football team will wear white shoes, white socks, white pants, white gloves, a white jersey and a gold helmet for their game against the Trojans in Los Angeles.
The uniform combination features maroon numbers and lettering. A pitchfork is on the side of the helmet.
The Sun Devils announced the look on their ASU football Twitter account with a video that included the caption "So fresh and so clean."
While some people like the look, many people just want to see the Sun Devils get a victory over the Trojans.
USC football vs. Arizona State series history
USC leads the all-time series against Arizona State, 23-14, but the Sun Devils are coming off a 31-16 win over the Trojans last season in Tempe.
USC won games against ASU in 2020 and 2019.
Since 2010, USC is 7-5 against Arizona State.
In 2014, Arizona State beat USC late in Los Angeles, 38-34 on the famous "Jael Mary" play, but Arizona State has only won twice against USC in the series since.
ASU, USC records this season
The Trojans are 4-0 on the season with wins over Rice (66-14), at Stanford (41-28), Fresno State (45-17) and at Oregon State (17-14).
They are 2-0 in Pac-12 play with the victories vs. Stanford and Oregon State.
USC host Washington State on Oct. 8 before playing at Utah on Oct. 15.
The Sun Devils are 1-3. They won their season opener vs. NAU (40-3), before dropping three straight at Oklahoma State (34-17), Eastern Michigan (30-21) and Utah (34-13).
ASU hosts Washington on Oct. 8 before having the next week off.
Pregame reading for ASU vs. Utah college football game
- Arizona State football's defense looking for better effort in battle against USC
- ASU football offense looking for comeback after rough outing against Utah
- Arizona State football emphasizing family as it preps for difficult road game
- Arizona State Report Card: Sun Devils offense struggles mightily in Utah loss
- 5 Takeaways from Arizona State's Pac-12 opening loss to Utah
- ASU interim coach Aguano backs his commitment to the area in first game
- Loss to Utah proves fixing what's wrong with Sun Devils won't be easy or quick
- Utah routs Arizona State football in ASU's first game without Herm Edwards
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