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ASU Football: 'The 12 Plays of Christmas' No. 8 Tip Toe Touchdown

The Sun Devils really took control over the Trojans when Cody Kessler got read like a book.

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The Sun Devils' offensive explosion in the second half against USC saw Arizona State put up 42 points on the Trojans in quick fashion. However, it may have been the slowest half of football Lane Kiffin has ever seen as he watched his job slip away.

Play No. 8: Alden Darby picks off Cody Kessler and returns it 46 yards for a touchdown.

Point Breakdown:

2 points: The play changed the momentum of the game.

6 points: The play was a Sun Devil touchdown scored by the defense.

7 points: The play went for 40 or more yards. (Big Play Factor)

Total: 15 points

The Sun Devils had just regained the lead after a 74-yard pass from Taylor Kelly to DJ Foster. Alex Garoutte proceeded to boot the kickoff through the end zone and Tre Madden rushed 11 yards on the first play of the drive before the "no fly zone" was activated.

On first and ten from their own 36 yard line, USC Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler took a seven step drop back with 13:19 on the clock.

Kessler ran a play-action fake with Tre Madden and saw  250-pound redshirt junior tight end Xavier Grimble on a crossing route before he cut up field. The Sun Devils blitzed allowing Gannon Conway to get his hands in Kessler's face, which blinded Kessler from the one player he needed to see.

That was Sun Devil safety Alden Darby.

Darby came down over the top from the safety position and jumped the route. Darby barely stayed in bounds tip toeing the sidelines while shaking an attempted tackle from Randall Telfer on his way to the end zone.

Darby had a spectacular day as a whole recording another interception for a total of two as well as a forced fumble and a fumble recovery with seven total tackles.

It was an important score as it gave the Sun Devils their second touchdown in under a minute and a commanding 34-21 lead.

This play was all about momentum as it completely demoralized USC and Arizona State continued to pile it on. It was also a big play in the context of the opponent as it had to be around this point in the game that the idea of firing Lane Kiffin that night started to creep into the mind of USC athletic director Pat Haden.