Vontaze won the battle, Barkley won the war (Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images)
Second only to the Arizona game, the annual battle with USC always carries with it extra importance for Arizona State. Even during the 11-year losing streak to the Trojans, the Sun Devils and their fans never wavered in their disdain for their conference rivals.
So needless to say, an ASU versus USC game never requires any additional juice to make it compelling, but last year's had just that and then some.
Heading into the game, Arizona State had a good team that was expected to take the Pac-12 South division crown, as USC was ineligible for the postseason. Many around the nation felt that this was the year that the streak would end.
"He's a dirty player. His switch is always on. And it's not a good switch."
Oh no he didn't! He did.
That extra motivation helped to result in one of the greatest images, seen above, in Arizona State history. Burfict was coming, and there was no mistaking who it was for.
In the second quarter, Burfict let his play do the talking:
After some tense moments in the second half, ASU pulled away to win the game, and Burfict had won the battle.
Sadly, Barkley would go on to win the war. While Burfict would become a source of scorn for ASU fans during the Sun Devil season's collapse, Barkley would lead his Trojans to a fantastic finish. While Burfict went undrafted this April, Barkley is now the Heisman favorite for likely preseason No. 1 USC.
Ah, well. At least for that one night, Burfict delivered in a big way, and left us with those two defining moments.
See the previous entries on House of Sparky's 100 day countdown here