Let’s get this out of the way now, the ultimate dud was Lane Kiffin as USC’s 62-41 loss to Arizona State spelled the end of his employment as Trojan head coach.
Now onto the rest of the team, who had some stunning and shocking performances on a topsy-turvy night in Tempe.
Stud: Tre Madden
Madden smashed and slashed his way through the Arizona State defense for 130 yards and a touchdown along with three catches for 66 yards and two touchdowns. As expected, he was one of USC’s most potent offensive weapons all night.
Dud: Morgan Breslin
Both of Breslin’s two tackles were for a loss, but the normally dominant pass rusher was bottled up for most of the night. As the Trojan secondary was being picked apart by ASU’s Taylor Kelly, USC desperately needed pressure on the quarterback and they got none from their key man.
Stud: Justin Davis
Davis was the perfect counter punch to Madden, slicing and dicing for 128 yards rushing and three touchdowns. The true freshman gets better with every game and every carry.
Dud: USC Secondary
From the 74-yard touchdown pass given up to a wide open receiver in the middle of the field to the inability to make plays on the ball, it was a long, long night for USC secondary. Kelly threw for 351 yards and three touchdowns while Jaelen Strong faced little challenge from his match ups with 7 catches for 103 yards.
Stud: Marion Grice
Grice had just 65 yards rushing, but his two touchdowns rushing and two touchdowns receiving were the ultimate death blows for the Trojans. His 177 total yards were just behind Madden between both teams.
Dud: Ball Security
Ultimately, the USC implosion was a result of poor ball security. Marqise Lee dropped what could very well have been a touchdown but instead became an interception. On the very next drive, Madden had a head of steam on a third down carry, but lost the ball when he ran into a teammate. Those two turnovers accounted for six Arizona State points and prevented a potential USC lead going into the half. Then Kessler’s pick six opened the floodgates. Needless to say, the turnovers cost USC the game.