Analysis of key plays and concepts in USC football’s win over ASU

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Alicia de Artola/Reign of Troy

The USC football team got bowl eligible with a win over Arizona State. How’d they do it? With the help of a few key big plays by their best playmakers.

Another week, another close call for Clay Helton’s Trojans. On a beautiful afternoon in Tempe, USC went to battle with Herm Edwards and the Sun Devils, and jumped out to a dominant 28-7 lead in the first quarter.

Kedon Slovis and the USC offense was everything Trojans supporters imagined, with the freshman racking up 297 passing yards in the first 15 minutes of the game.

Graham Harrell’s creative playcalling from an expanded playbook gave the Sun Devils fits as they attempted to slow the aerial assault.

Slovis led USC on an 11-play opening drive that he capped off with an eight-yard touchdown to fellow freshman Drake London.

After a stop from the USC defense, Slovis picked up right where he left off.


USC lines up with trips to the right and one receiver on the left. Slovis sends Kenan Christon in motion to the right in a swing-screen look that draws two ASU defensive backs towards the running back.

ASU is in man coverage and the free safety responsible for Christon comes in towards the line of scrimmage at the snap to account for the potential screen.  Michael Pittman Jr. briefly sells that he is blocking, then wheels toward the far sideline.

Tyler Vaughns, who is at the top of the formation, runs a post to draw the outside cornerback toward the middle of the field. The free safety sees that the nickel and linebacker tried to jump the screen, which leaves him in the unenviable position of trying to catch up to Pittman Jr.

The safety reroutes but is far too late as Slovis connects with the senior for a 28-yard gain.

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