Arizona State opened Saturday night's game against USC with a picturesque touchdown drive before the USC Trojans stormed back to even the score at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter.
The Sun Devils started the game from their own 25-yard line and wasted no time in incorporating Chris Coyle into the offense. Taylor Kelly found a wide open Coyle on the second play from scrimmage for 21 yards and hit him again three plays later for a 35-yard completion.
On third and 12 from the Trojans' 14-yard line, Jaelen Strong made a diving catch along the sidelines that moved the chains. Michael Eubank entered the game at quarterback and finished things off on his first play for a one-yard touchdown run.
Arizona State attempted to establish the run early, but Marion Grice mustered just six yards on five carries on the opening drive.
When the Trojans took possession, the good vibes continued for Arizona State as defensive tackle Will Sutton buried Trojans' quarterback Cody Kessler for a five-yard sack on USC's first play. The Trojans' offense looked out of rhythm (not surprising) and USC was forced to punt after going three and out.
Arizona State followed suit with a three and out and USC started to find its groove on offense. Tre Madden opened the drive with a 27-yard carry and Kessler hit Nelson Agholor for a 19-yard gain later on in the drive. USC maintained a consistent rushing attack and running back Justin Davis capped off the 89-yard drive with a 26-yard touchdown run to pull the Trojans even with the Sun Devils.
The Trojans' had no problem running the football right up the middle against Arizona State on their second drive and it wasn't just offensive linemen paving the way. On Davis' touchdown run, wide receiver Marqise Lee laid a pivotal block on corner Robert Nelson that allowed Davis to break his rush to the outside. In total, 68 of the 89 yards on the touchdown drive came on the ground.
After a strong return from Marion Grice, an uncharacteristic holding penalty went against the Sun Devils and stalled a promising drive. On fourth and 15, Taylor Kelly's pooch punt went 27 yards and the Trojans started their third drive of the game from their own 23-yard line.
USC is moving the ball with ease as Tre Madden picked up 59 rushing yards in the first quarter. Jaxon Hood's injury is clearly affecting the Sun Devil front seven so Arizona State will have to adjust its run defense moving forward.