The USC Trojans defense made one crucial error early in the desert in Tempe, but it was a big one. Cameron Marshall (playing with a sprained ankle) took his opening rush 70 yards down the left sideline on the opening Arizona State drive into the end zone to give the Sun Devils an early 7-0 lead.
USC got on the board after taking advantage of good field position, getting an Arizona pass interference penalty and a few Marc Tyler rushes to set up a Andre Heidari 41 yard field goal to cut the lead to 7-3.
ASU went back down the field a few drives later, taking advantage of USC safety T.J. McDonald's SECOND personal foul penalty. It set the Sun Devils up deep in USC territory, and Brock Osweiller found Gerell Robinson on the right side to make it 14-3. Matt Barkley then marched USC's offense down the field with big passes to Marqise Lee, Brandon Carswell and Robert Woods, but Woods's third down throw was knocked down by ASU cornerback Deveron Carr to set up another Heidari field goal.