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Game Notes: ASU vs. USC
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 09/29/2013
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Baby Steps

Prior to 2000, the Sun Devils went 9-7 all-time against USC, but since then the series has been mostly dominated by the Trojans, having won 12 out of 14. However, ASU may have started to turn the corner against its Pac-12 rivals, having won two out of the last three.

Strike First

With Michael Eubank’s 1-yard touchdown run on ASU’s first possession, the Sun Devils have now scored first in 14 of the 17 games with Todd Graham at the helm. Arizona State improves to 3-0 on such contests this season.

Win the First Half, Win the Game

ASU improves to 10-0 under Todd Graham when leading at halftime.

High-Pressure Offense

The Sun Devils scored 62 points Saturday night, the most points ASU has ever put up against USC. It also ties for second-most points scored by the Sun Devils in Pac-10/12 competition. The most they have ever put up is 65 points in a win against Stanford in 2002. ASU also put up 612 yards of total offense, the most in a conference game since recording 667 yards against Oregon in 2000.

Fun While It Lasted

Before tonight, USC had not allowed a single point in the first quarter in its first four contests: a Michael Eubank 1-yard touchdown run quickly put an end to that streak.

Grice, Grice Baby

Marion Grice continues to find a home in the end zone. With four touchdowns Saturday night, Grice now has accumulated 12 touchdowns (eight rushing, four receiving) through four games. He has 18 touchdowns (13 rushing, five receiving) over the last seven games.

Four is Plenty

Marion Grice found the end zone four times against USC (two rushing, two receiving). The last player to score four touchdowns in a game with a combination of rushing and receiving was Mike Williams on Nov. 29, 2002 against Arizona. Grice has already amassed one four-touchdown game this season against Wisconsin, but all four of those came on the ground.

Kelly with his Arm…

Taylor Kelly passed for 351 yards on the Trojan defense, the second-highest by any quarterback in the ASU-USC series. The record currently is held by John David Booty, who threw for 375 yards in 2007. Kelly’s total yardage through the air also ranks first all-time out of any Sun Devil quarterback against USC. His performance tonight is the seventh time he has eclipsed 300 yards through the air and he has done so in each game this season.  His seven games with 300+ yards are tied for third most for any ASU quarterback in history.

 

…Kelly with his Feet

Taylor Kelly’s 40-yard run in the second quarter was the Sun Devils’ longest rush of the season at the time (Deantre Lewis' 45-yard run later in the game is the new high). Prior, Marion Grice held the longest run at 22 yards. It also is Kelly’s longest rush at Arizona State; his previous record was 32 yards.

Breaking Records

With a 74-yard connection in the third quarter, Taylor Kelly and D.J. Foster both broke their own personal records. The pass was Kelly’s longest completion of his career, shattering his previous long of 52 yards in 2012. This season, his high was a 45-yard completion to Chris Coyle last week against Stanford. For Foster, it was his longest reception as a Sun Devil; his previous high was 49 yards in 2012.

Taking it Back

Alden Darby intercepted Cody Kessler and returned it 46 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter, marking the first time a Sun Devil recorded a pick-six since…Alden Darby, when he returned an interception 70 yards for a touchdown at USC in 2012.

Twice is Nice

Alden Darby racked up two interceptions against the Trojans; the last time a Sun Devil collected two interceptions in the same game was Nov. 17, 2012 when Keelan Johnson grabbed two against Washington State.

Not Once, Not Twice, Not Thrice, But…

By recording a pick-six again tonight against USC, the Sun Devils have now recorded four-straight games against the Trojans with an interception returned for a touchdown. Alden Darby has done it in the past two contests, while linebacker Shelly Lyons did it in 2011 and Omar Bolden accomplished it in 2010.

Ball Hog Secondary

The Sun Devils entered their game against USC with three interceptions on the season, but left the contest having doubled that after recording three interceptions off the Trojan offense. Over the past four games against USC the Sun Devils have compiled 10 interceptions.

The Force is Strong

Jaelen Strong once again surmounted 100 yards receiving for the third-straight game. Even more impressive is his ability to move the chains: 20 out of his 31 receptions this year have resulted in a first down for the Sun Devils. No wide receiver in ASU history had posted more than one 100+ yard game in their first career start while Strong has accomplished the feat in three of his first four starts as a Sun Devil.

Not in Irabor’s House

Osahon Irabor collected his first interception of the year off a deflected Cody Kessler pass in the second quarter, and now has four career interceptions in a Sun Devil uniform. Irabor continues to impress in the ASU secondary, having now racked up 20 tackles (15 solo) this season to go along with 4.0 tackles for loss.

Sun Devils are Explosive

ASU racked up 13 explosive plays against USC, seven through the air and six on the ground. An explosive play is defined as a completion of 16-plus yards or a rush of 12-plus yards. Jaelen Strong led the team with three in the air, while Taylor Kelly and Deantre Lewis both had two on the ground.

Start Strong

After ending the first quarter all squared at 7, ASU has outscored their opposition 169-89 in first quarters under Todd Graham.

Sun Devil Country

For the third consecutive home game ASU set a record for student tickets sold.  Tonight’s number for student tickets sold was 14,118.  This beats the record of 13,827 set vs. Wisconsin and is the first time in ASU history that it has sold over 14,000 student tickets to a football game.

A Chance to Make History

In the history of USC and Notre Dame football, a team has played both programs in consecutive weeks on 12 separate occasions. No team has ever won both of those contests, giving ASU a chance to make history when it takes on the Fighting Irish in Arlington, Texas next week.  Only two teams even gave themselves a shot to complete the double (Michigan State in 1987 and South Carolina in 1983) by winning the first game of the series but both went on to drop handy decisions to Notre Dame by scores of 31-8 and 30-6, respectively. Arizona State was actually one of those teams back in 1998 but dropped both contests that season. 

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