The USC Trojans continue to shoot themselves in the foot, but they have still managed to lead 28-17 over the Arizona State Sun Devils after three quarters of play on Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles. Matt Barkley has thrown three interceptions, and Marqise Lee has fumbled, but the USC defense has played well to give the Trojans an opportunity.
All 17 ASU points have come off USC turnovers. The most recent was a spectacular play by the Sun Devils' Carl Bradford, in which he batted the ball at the line of scrimmage, then dove to catch the ball himself. Arizona State would drive down the field on the ensuing possession before stalling near the goal line and settling for a field goal to go up 17-14.
It wouldn't take long for the Trojans to respond, as they drove down the field on their next possession for the go-ahead score. Curtis McNeal capped off a 9-play, 59-yard march with a 5-yard touchdown run.
Two fourth down plays may prove to be decisive. The first was a 4th and 1 for ASU near midfield. The Trojans were able to sack Taylor Kelly and get the ball back in good field position for the offense. USC faced a 4th and 1 near the 20 just minutes later, and converted to extend the drive.
McNeal recorded his second touchdown of the quarter to extend the Trojans' lead to double-digits, this time on a 22-yard screen pass.