A Deviled Egg; USC 28, Arizona State 0

In consecutive weeks, the Trojans have now embarrassed two of the conferences top contenders. Though it wasn’t pretty on the offensive side of the ball, the USC defense pitched a 28-0 shutout of visiting Arizona State. After the destruction of the Oregon Ducks last week, the Oregon State game now weighs heavier, with the thought of a different result, and how pretty the Trojans would be sitting in the BCS title run.

Today’s game nearly mirrored last year’s Thanksgiving night contest in Tempe. A hobbled Rudy Carpenter took a beating, hit on nearly every passing play, before being knocked from the game completely. The Trojans defense didn’t allow Carpenter time to pass. They didn’t allow room to run. Some costly penalties moved the chains, but ASU never capitalized.

The offense came out strong, putting a quick 14 points on the board, then appeared to become complacent, as if to play down to their competition. The Trojans went up 21-0, as a Carpenter pass was intercepted and returned 45 yards for a touchdown by Kevin Thomas. But things began to sputter, as USC committed turnover after turnover. USC turned the ball over on 4 consecutive offensive series, but each time the defense held. Mark Sanchez turned the ball over twice in two possessions, giving the Devils the ball in the red zone with each. ASU failed to score, as the Trojans’ special teams blocked two field goal attempts.

Joe McKnight rushed for a career high 143 yards on 11 carries, pouring it on in the second half, and setting up a short Stafon Johnson touchdown to give USC 28 points. The Sun Devils threatened to end the shutout bid, driving late in the fourth, but freshman T.J Bryant intercepted a pass from the back up Sullivan, giving the Trojans possession with less than 10 seconds remaining.

The game featured a combined 9 turnovers, 5 by USC. The Trojans defense held Arizona State to just 229 yards of total offense.

~ by Anthony on October 12, 2008.

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