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USC leaves Arizona State flame broiled in 43-22 loss

The Trojans can't take the heat, or Sun Devils, in a turnover-filled loss that includes giving up 22 unanswered points on three consecutive turnovers in the second half.

September 24, 2011|By Gary Klein

Reporting from Tempe, Ariz -- USC knew what to expect when it hit the road for the first time this season and traveled to Arizona State.

The 98-degree temperature for a Saturday evening start?

No surprise.

A raucous crowd jacked up to help the Sun Devils end an 11-game losing streak against USC?

The Trojans counted on it.

But No. 23 USC did not anticipate a first-quarter dust storm. Or two interceptions, two lost fumbles, costly penalties and a Sun Devils team that for the first time in more than a decade showed it had enough to finish what it started.

Arizona State's 43-22 victory marked the first time since 1999 that USC was defeated by the Sun Devils.

The Trojans committed three fourth-quarter turnovers, including an interception that was returned for a touchdown to put the finishing touches on the Sun Devils' Pacific 12 Conference South Division win.

The loss dropped USC to 3-1 overall, 1-1 in conference play.

Arizona State tailback Cameron Marshall rushed for three touchdowns and quarterback Brock Osweiler passed for two for the Sun Devils (3-1, 1-0), who gave Coach Dennis Erickson only his second victory against USC in 10 games at three schools.

"We just weren't going to lose," Erickson said.

After winning three games at home to start the season, USC Coach Lane Kiffin said the key to success on the road was to bring the running game and the defense.

But the Trojans also needed to take care of the ball and avoid penalties, neither of which they did.

Tailback Marc Tyler rushed for 149 yards and a touchdown, but he also had a costly fumble.

Quarterback Matt Barkley

lost a fumble and had passes intercepted by former Corona Centennial High stars Vontaze Burfict and Shelly Lyons. Burfict's interception set up a touchdown and Lyons returned his 41 yards for the Sun Devils' final points.

USC also had 10 penalties, including at least three personal fouls, for 87 yards, and was one for nine on third down.

The 6-foot-8 Osweiler, rebounding from last week's turnover-plagued performance in a loss at Illinois, completed 25 of 32 passes for 214 yards, with no interceptions.

"This is a game we had circled on our calendar for a very long time," Osweiler said.

Marshall rushed for 141 yards in 25 carries and scored on runs of 70, three and four yards.

Arizona State forged a 21-9 halftime lead on Marshall's 70-yard run and two touchdown passes by Osweiler.

Meanwhile, USC failed on all six of its third-down attempts and managed only three field goals by freshman Andre Heidari.

But Barkley, who finished 21 for 33 for 227 yards, came out firing in the second half, completing all five of his passes on a 65-yard scoring drive that he finished with a 24-yard strike to freshman receiver Marqise Lee.

The Trojans went ahead on their next possession, Tyler scoring on a 10-yard run to give them a 22-21 lead. Tyler, however, was stopped short of the goal line on a two-point conversion attempt.

Arizona State came right back, Osweiler picking the Trojans apart and Marshall bulling his way into the end zone from three yards out for a 28-22 lead.

The Trojans appeared on their way to possibly regaining the lead when Robert Woods returned the ensuing kickoff across midfield and Tyler ripped through the Sun Devils on consecutive carries. But on the second one, Tyler was stripped of the ball and lost the fumble.

It was all Arizona State after that.

It was mostly Arizona State in the first half, too, thanks in part to Osweiler, who completed 13 of 15 passes for 96 yards.

The Sun Devils wasted no time getting started, Osweiler scrambling for a first down on the first possession before handing off to Marshall.

The junior from San Jose ran to his left, bounced outside and then turned the corner down the left sideline. USC safety Jawanza Starling had a clean shot at Marshall at the 20, but he failed to knock him out of bounds or bring him down and Marshall ran into the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

Heidari's first field goal, a 41-yarder, left the Trojans trailing 7-3 at the end of the first quarter.

Arizona State extended its lead with a drive kept alive by USC safety T.J. McDonald's second personal-foul penalty. An apparent fumble by Marshall also was overturned on review, setting up Osweiler's eight-yard scoring pass to Gerell Robinson for a 14-3 lead.

Heidari's 29-yard field goal kept USC within striking distance, but the Trojans blew a big chance midway through the second quarter.

Nickell Robey's 45-yard punt return gave the Trojans a first down at the Sun Devils' 13.

But on the Trojans' second play, Burfict intercepted Barkley's pass and returned it 36 yards. That set up Osweiler's short touchdown pass to Jamal Miles for a 21-6 lead.

gary.klein@latimes.com

twitter.com/latimesklein

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