USC won the toss and deferred and ASU started on their own 25-yard line. On the second play of the Sun Devils’ opening drive, quarterback Taylor Kelly threw to tight end Chris Coyle for 21 yards. On a crucial third down Kelly hit Coyle for 35 yards and ASU was quickly in the red zone.
After a running play for a loss and a Kelly throw away, ASU picked up 12 yards for a first down on a catch by Jaelen Strong. Michael Eubank was brought in at quarterback on second down and scored a touchdown on a quarterback sneak from 1 yard out putting the Sun Devils up 7-0 on a 10-play, 75-yard drive.
USC started on its own 20 yard line after a touchback and Will Sutton got his first sack of the season on first down. USC went three-and-out after a solid defensive stand by the Sun Devils.
After an ASU three-and-out, USC started its next drive with a 27-yard pass to Tre Madden, which moved it to the 38 yard line.
The Trojans then gained 19 yards on a pass to Nelson Agholor, which moved them up to the Sun Devils 41 with just over 6 minutes left in the first quarter.
A few plays later, USC running back Justin Davis followed some excellent blocking and scored from 26 yards out, which tied the game 7-7 with 4 minutes left in the first quarter. The USC drive was 8-plays, 89-yards in 4:27.
Marion Grice had a 36-yard return on the kickoff and the Sun Devils started on their own 36 yard line. A pass interference penalty on USC took it to the Trojans’ 45 yard line but a holding call on ASU brought it back to the Sun Devils’ own 45 and, on fourth down, Taylor Kelly made a 27-yard pooch punt from the fifty yard line.
The Trojans picked up right where they left off by gaining 47 yards on 3 plays and when the quarter ended they were on the Sun Devils’ 30-yard line.
The Trojans had 193 yards on offense in the first quarter compared to the Sun Devils’ 107 yards, but the first quarter ended in a 7-7 tie.
As the second quarter began, USC continued to dismantle ASU’s defense and scored its second touchdown of the game on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Cody Kessler to Madden. USC’s scoring drive was 7 plays for 77 yards in just over 3 minutes and the Trojans took a 14-7 lead just after the second quarter began.
After a failed ASU offensive drive, USC took over on its own 23 yard line and began its drive with a 15-yard run. USC failed to convert from its own 38 yard line and was forced to punt. The punt went 43 yards and the Sun Devils started their drive on their own 21 yard line with just under 9 minutes to go in the half.
After Kelly gained 40 yards on a quarterback keeper, the Sun Devils were on the USC 35 yard line. Kelly then hit De’Marieya Nelson on a back shoulder fade, which put the Sun Devils on the USC 11 yard line and set up a 11-yard touchdown pass to running back Marion Grice. The Sun Devils tied the game at 14 with about 8 minutes to go in the half after the 4-play, 79-yard drive which lasted just under one minute.
Backed up deep in their own territory after a holding penalty on the kick off, the Trojans’ Kessler threw to an open Marqise Lee, but Lee muffed the perfect pass and the ball was tipped in the air leading to an interception by ASU defensive back Osahon Irabor.
After Irabor’s 10-yard return, the Sun Devils started the drive in Trojan territory and on their first play, threw a 25-yard back shoulder fade to Strong, which put them in the red zone. After a pass to Grice put ASU on the USC one yard line, the Sun Devils picked up a holding penalty on third down and couldn’t convert on third-and-11. The drive ended with a 28-yard field goal by Zane Gonzalez and the Sun Devils went up 17-14 with just under 5 minutes to go in the half.
USC was moving the ball, but ASU defensive back Alden Darby forced a Madden fumble near the 50 yard line and the Sun Devils recovered at the USC 47 yard line with just under 3 minutes to go in the half.
Two quick passes from Kelly to Coyle put the Sun Devils on the USC 19 yard line and after several plays, ASU brought Eubank in again and failed to convert on a big third-and-one from the two yard line. ASU kicked a 22-yard field goal as the clock ran out on the first half and went into halftime leading 20-14.
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