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ASU vs. USC: Sun Devils trail 35-0 at halftime

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The Sun Devils are struggling to keep up with the Trojans and trail 35-0 after a sloppy first half.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The No. 19 USC Trojans scored early and often in the first half, in route to a 35-0 halftime lead over the Arizona State Sun Devils.

USC started off with a bang, as Cody Kessler found wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 52-yard gain on the game's first play from scrimmage. However, three plays later Kessler was intercepted by freshman Kareem Orr on the two-yard line. It was the the first interception of the season for Kessler.

Demario Richard got ASU off to a good start, taking a handoff 61 yards on ASU's first play from scrimmage. However, Richard fumbled later in the drive and ASU came away empty on its first possession.

The Trojans struck first when Kessler found Adoree' Jackson on a dump pass in the flat, making Jordan Simone miss and went off to the races for 80 yards to put USC up 7-0 with 10:31 left in the first half.

On the ensuing drive, the Sun Devils drove to the USC 30-yard line before being forced to kick a field goal. Zane Gonzalez missed the 47-yard attempt and the Sun Devils came up empty on their second offensive possession. It was the second miss of the season for Gonzalez.

The teams traded punts for the rest of the quarter and USC led 7-0 after the first quarter.

The offensive struggles continued to begin the second quarter, as Mike Bercovici was intercepted by USC defensive back John Plattenberg on a deep ball that was overthrown. ASU's first four possessions of the game went: fumble, missed field goal, punt, interception.

The Trojans extended their lead to 14 early in the second quarter. Kessler found wide receiver Steven Mitchell Jr. for a 27-yard touchdown capping a nine-play, 74-yard drive that took a little over two minutes.

Following the USC score, the Sun Devils once again drove into USC territory and once again came up empty when Gonzalez missed his second field goal of the night, this one from 52 yards.

On the ensuing drive, the Trojans drove 66 yards in six plays for their third scoring drive of the night. Keller found Smith-Schuster from four yards out to put USC up 21-0 with 3:37 left in the half.

It seemed as if the Sun Devils were finally going to get on the board with less than a minute in the half. After Bercovici found De'Chavon Hayes on a 16-yard pass to the one-yard line. However, on the next play Bercovici put the ball on the ground and it was returned 94 yards by USC safety Chris Hawkins.

It if couldn't get any worse for ASU, Hayes fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting USC up at the four-yard line. Two plays later, Kessler found Smith-Schuster for a 10-yard touchdown pass to put USC up 35-0 with three seconds left in the half.

The Sun Devils rushed for 148 yards in the first half, averaging 7.8 yards per carry. Bercovici was a pedestrian 10-for-18 for just 77 yards.