Remember the Sun Devils' 62-point outburst against USC back in September? We do, and we can bet Lane Kiffin does as well. That's the night everything unraveled for the ex-Trojans' coach. While some of the Trojans' downfall against Arizona State was Kiffin's doing, it's hard to ignore the outstanding plays made by the Sun Devils that night.
Play No. 7: Taylor Kelly hits D.J. Foster on a 74-yard touchdown pass to give the Sun Devils a lead they would never relinquish against USC.
2 Points: The play changed the momentum of the game
3 Points: The play occurred in a Sun Devil victory
5 Points: The play was a Sun Devil touchdown
7 Points: The play went for 40 or more yards (Big play factor)
Total: 17 Points
Throughout sports, we see final scores that are misleading on a day-to-day basis. A cheap goal here, a late basket there, and fluke touchdowns everywhere make for final scores that deceive an audience that doesn't watch a game in its entirety.
When the Arizona State Sun Devils hung 62 points on the USC Trojans in a 62-41 victory earlier this year, casual followers could have assumed that the Trojans ran out of gas in a late shootout. Maybe the Sun Devils capitalized on a few turnovers at the end, because surely USC couldn't have been dominated quite like that.
For those of us that watched the game intently, we know how everything transpired. We know that the 62-41 score is probably a mirage, and we know it's because the Sun Devils dominated nearly every facet of the game in the second half. In actuality, USC was lucky the final score didn't look worse, and the Trojans have the Arizona State run defense to thank for that.
The Sun Devils' 62-41 victory was a complete and total annihilation of the Trojans, but it wasn't always destined to be a blowout. In fact, the Trojans held the lead in the third quarter, before D.J. Foster ignited a 42-point barrage.
Trailing 20-14 at halftime, USC opened the second half with an explosive scoring drive capped off by a 24-yard touchdown run from running back Tre Madden. All of a sudden, the Trojans were right back in the thick of things. It appeared as though USC was ready to make a game of it. That is, until D.J. Foster struck.
When the Sun Devils assumed possession at their own 26-yard line, they faced a 21-20 deficit and 74 yards of open field ahead. After a first down play netted nothing, offensive coordinator Mike Norvell unleashed the Sun Devils' passing attack on second down.
Taylor Kelly took the snap, and used a play-action fake with running back Marion Grice to lure in the USC secondary toward the line of scrimmage. Grice carried out his play-fake to perfection, and caught the USC defense napping.
After a few Trojans scurried toward Grice, it was all too late. Their attempts to backpedal and sprint the opposite direction were all for naught, as slot receiver D.J. Foster had found a hole in the defense around midfield.
Kelly hit Foster in stride at the 50-yard line, and the super sophomore had nothing but greenery ahead of him. Foster turned on the jets, and outran every Trojan in pursuit on his way to pay dirt. The 74-yard touchdown caught the Trojans' defense off-guard and helped light the spark for the best quarter of Arizona State's season.
Arizona State followed Foster's score with 21 more unanswered points to close the third quarter with an insurmountable 48-21 lead. Like Foster on his touchdown catch, the Sun Devils never looked back and completed a shocking blowout that sent USC spinning into a world of turmoil.