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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

USC Rebounds with Win Against Arizona State

After a streak of disappointing losses, the Trojans got back into the Rose Bowl race with a win against the Sun Devils. 

There was a lot more than a Homecoming celebration on the line for the Trojans Saturday as they faced off against Arizona State. USC had dropped to No. 21 despite major pre-season hype and the chance at a Rose Bowl was fading quickly. However, USC stepped up to the plate after a rocky first half and took down the Sun Devils 38-17. 

It was a great team effort by the Trojans, with big numbers posted by everyone on the field. Receiver Marqise Lee, whose name has recently been thrown in the Heisman ring, had 10 catches for 161 yards and a touchdown. Running back Curtis McNeal ran for 163 yards and two more touchdowns. And ring leader Matt Barkley threw for 222 yards, three touchdowns and became the leading passer in conference history for USC. 

After allowing for a school-record of 730 yards to Oregon last week, these solid numbers from the Trojan front came at the perfect time. With this win over the Sun Devils, the only thing stopping USC from taking the South division title is crosstown rival UCLA. 

The noon kickoff was the earliest for USC since their 1998 Purdue season opener, possible accounting for the Trojans slow start to the game. Arizona State kept in close in the first half at 14-14. It was after a halftime rally that USC racked up 34 points. 

Receiver Robert Woods and running back Silas Redd took a backseat in Saturday's game, as Woods had only two catches for minus-three yards and Redd watched from the sidelines.

The win against the Sun Devils boosted the Trojans to No. 18, and will challenge the No. 17 UCLA at the Rose Bowl Saturday Nov. 17.

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