Jayne Kamin-Oncea-US PRESSWIRE
ASU had plenty of chances to put USC away, but go into the half tied instead
Arizona State came to Los Angeles looking to end a three-game losing streak. The USC Trojans were reeling after two straight losses of their own. Something would have to give between these two rivals.
The action began fast and furious.
The Sun Devil offense showed off their fastest tempo of the year, and was able to effectively move into Trojan territory, but the drive ended on a turnover on downs, as Marion Grice was stopped just short.
It wasn't long before ASU had another chance. Carl Bradford forced a Marqise Lee fumble on USC's first play, and it was recovered by Steffon Martin. ASU made them pay, as Taylor Kelly avoided pressure on a third down play, which allowed Chris Coyle to get behind the coverage on the right sideline and Kelly hit him for a 34-yard touchdown.
The Sun Devil defense was exerting their will on the Trojan offense, led by Will Sutton and Bradford, each registering a first half sack.
But with the talent of Lee, it's just a matter of time until they strike.
Folllowing a touchback, Lee beat Deveron Carr and hauled in a Barkley pass and raced 80-yards untouched for a game-tying touchdown. It looked to go from bad to worse, when Rashad Ross fumbled the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by the Trojans.
But the mistakes continued for both teams.
Following the fumble recovery, Barkley was intercepted on a great leaping effort by Chris Young, who just managed to get his left arm down in bounds. However, that momentum was short lived, as Kelly badly missed Coyle, and was easily intercepted by T.J. McDonald.
Later in the quarter, USC managed to drive inside the ASU five-yard line. They appeared to take the lead after Robert Woods hauled in a touchdown pass, but he was called for offensive pass. A delay of game penalty further backed up the Trojans, and on third down, Barkley's pass into the flats was read beautifully by Alden Darby, who intercepted the ball and ran 76-yards for the ASU touchdown.
The Trojans were able to make something happen before halftime. Thanks to a another pass interference call on Carr-his second of the half-that extended a drive that ended with a Barkley touchdown pass to Xavier Grimble.
USC will receive the second half kickoff.