USC started the second half with the kind of fire that used to be a staple of this team after the break: Cody Kessler dropped back and hit Marqise Lee for a 51-yard play, and then running back Tre Madden followed that up with a 24-yard rushing score.
With his catch, Lee passed Johnnie Morton (3201) for most USC career receiving yards (3,238).
In three plays and 46 seconds, USC regained the lead and the momentum.
It didn’t last long though, as Taylor Kelly found D.J. Forster over the middle of the field for a 74-yard touchdown strike, in just two plays.
In under two minutes, this USC/ASU tilt became a shootout.
Tre Madden got the next drive going for the Trojans, picking up 11 yards, but Cody Kessler threw a pick-six to ASU’s Alden darby, and ASU’s lead swelled to 34-21.
In 68 seconds, USC went from being on top in this game to being down two possessions.
With the USC offense shooting itself in the foot, the defense came back on the field looking to contain Taylor Kelly and the Sun Devils. Looking gassed and out of sorts, they failed to do so: ASU scored again, this time a 10-yard strike from Kelly to tight end Marion Grice.
ASI extended its lead 41-21, and the lights certainly looked to go out for the Trojans in Tempe.
In the middle of the third quarter, true freshman Su’a Cravens picked off Taylor Kelly, giving USC another chance to crawl back in this.
But they didn’t: on 4th and 2, Kiffin dialed up a Wildcat pass from Tre Madden to Jahleel Pinner, and got picked off.
ASU went up 48-21 on the Trojans with 2 and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
USC turned the ball over four times against ASU, and each time, ASU capitalized.