TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 24: Vontaze Burfict #7 of the Arizona State Sun Devils points and yells at quarterback Matt Barkley #7 of the University of Southern California Trojans just prior to a play at Sun Devil Stadium on September 24, 2011 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
It had been 11 years. We had seen it before too many times. ASU with a big lead over USC going into the 2nd half. USC comes out on fire making it look easy and taking the lead. 2005? ASU was up 21-3. Then Bush, Leinart, and Lendale White came back to put up 35 2nd half points aided by 5 interceptions and won 38-28. 2010? A game where ASU had an XP blocked and returned for 2 points leading to a 34-33 final score.
Would it really happen again? How would the Devils lose this one? They wouldn't. Vontaze Burfict led the charge with a game changing interception which led to an ASU TD early in the game. Shelly Lyons finished it off with a pick 6 to put the game out of reach. The Devils (3-1) won 43-22, yep you read that right, 43-22 over USC.
An injured Cameron Marshall led the team with 141 rushing yards and 3 TDs, and an efficient Brock Osweiler proved once again, how great of a leader he is. Osweiler was 25/32 with 223 yards and 2 TDs. What is missing from that line is that he and the rest of the Sun Devils had 0 turnovers. It's crazy what a +4 turnover margin can do for a team.
The receivers came up with big catches. Gerell Robinson made a big TD catch fending off the DB to put the Devils 2nd TD on the board. Later in the game Pflugrad and Willie had some big first down catches to help the Devils preserve their lead. The defense held USC to FGs early in the game, showing the resiliency ASU fans expected coming into the season. This team out athelticized, out ran, out caught, out tackled, out smarted, out played USC. On a night that included a 70 yard TD by a hobbled RB, a haboob, and a USC comeback, it ended with a Gatorade bath for Erickson. Let's hope this is the first of many more to come.