Plagued by defensive miscues, the Sun Devils let up 607 yards of total offense to USC who handed Arizona State its worst loss since week 12 of the 2016 season against then-No. 6 Washington.
On the first play of the night, D.J. Calhoun sacked Sam Darnold, pushing USC 10 yards back. From then on, it got ugly defensively.
USC wide receiver Deontay Burnett beat Chase Lucas on an out route, as Darnold mustered a 32-yard touchdown pass into the end zone. The Trojans led 7-0 two and a half minutes into the game.
The first of Arizona State’s three scores all game came five minutes later when Brandon Ruiz nailed a 39-yard field goal, making the game 7-3.
Then, the Trojans began to pour on the points — 24 unanswered points to be exact.
The scoring fiesta started when Tyler Vaughns juked past ASU cornerback Kobe Williams for a touchdown, as he ran untouched for 42 yards, making the score 14-3 with two and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
Bleeding into the second quarter, the Trojans took just three plays to score on their next drive. Williams was embarrassed again on the touchdown, this time by running back Ronald Jones who put a juke move on the cornerback and ran 67 yards for a touchdown. USC led 21-3 with just 30 seconds left into the quarter.
The Arizona State defensive miscues then continued.
After Darnold threw 19-yard missile into the hands of Tyler Vaughns in the end zone, Dasmond Tautalatasi was ejected from the game after he hit Vaughs helmet-to-helmet.
The Sun Devils lost their starting safety and put their winning chances even further in danger, as USC led 28-3 midway through the second quarter.
The points didn’t end there.
USC was halted at the Sun Devils’ 33-yard line on their next drive, but Chase McGrath made a 51-yard field goal with 52 seconds left in the half, furthering the USC lead to 28 points, 31-3.
But then some hope was restored for ASU offensively on a miraculous pass to end the first half.
Near midfield with one second remaining, Manny Wilkins aired out a 46-yard pass that was tipped into the air and into the hands of a diving Kyle Williams. The Sun Devils went into halftime down 31-10.
To start the second half, the Sun Devils showed some life, scoring unanswered points for the first time all game.
In a drive where Kyle Williams made four catches for 42 yards, Wilkins leaped into the end zone on a 1-yard quarterback sneak to put ASU down just two touchdowns, 31-17.
But USC wasn’t finished, putting away the Sun Devils with three unanswered scores.
Jones combined speed, precision blocking, and absolute raw talent, as he raced 64 yards into the end zone to score. USC expanded its lead to 38-17 with just over 10 minutes remaining in the third quarter.
After 55 points through just two quarters and five minutes, scoring was absent for the rest of the third quarter.
USC then added to its lead twice.
On a mega drive of 14 plays and about five and a half minutes, McGrath hit a 33-yard field goal that put USC up 41-17 with just over 10 and a half minutes remaining in the game.
Darnold then exited the game after his 266-yard, three-touchdown performance, putting in redshirt freshman quarterback Matt Fink.
The Trojans didn’t score offensive, but picked off Blake Barnett who joined in on the quarterback exchange. The pick turned into points when Ykili Ross ran 37 yards into the end zone, making the game 48-17 with just over a minute left to play.
Mark Cosgrove then received hand offs the last two plays of the game, as time expired.