(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
For the second consecutive season, Arizona State (4-1, 1-1) fell to the USC Trojans (2-2, 1-2) by a substantial margin.
The Sun Devils fell 41-20 in their return to the Coliseum in a loss that saw most of the team’s most glaring flaws finally catch up with them. The secondary, a unit that ranked last in the FBS for passing yards allowed with 404 yards per game, allowed a career night for freshman quarterback Sam Darnold.
Darnold completed 70 percent of his passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns.
Trojan receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster and Deontay Burnett hauled in the bulk of Darnold’s completions – each finished with seven receptions – while Smith-Schuster caught all three of the freshman signal caller’s touchdowns.
The duo accounted for 216 receiving yards and got the best of the Arizona State secondary all evening.
Despite Salamo Fiso’s 10 tackles, the Arizona State run defense, a unit that ranked 16 in the nation in rushing yardage allowed entering the night, allowed 157 yards on the ground. Senior Justin Davis led the charge – he carried the ball 14 times, totaling 123 yards and touchdown.
Offensively, Arizona State was without Manny Wilkins for the second half after the redshirt sophomore injured his leg. He was seen on the sideline on crutches for the remainder of the game, he watched on as redshirt freshman Brady White saw his first live action of the season.
Due to the ineptitude of the Sun Devil run game, a unit that finished with 75 rushing yards on 33 carries, as well as the offense altogether, White was forced to throw for most of the limited offensive opportunity he had to work with.
Kalen Ballage and Demario Richard carried the ball a combined 13 times for 35 yards.
The offense didn’t pick up a first down in the third quarter under White, but started to move the ball with more efficiency in the fourth quarter.
He threw his first touchdown pass of the season to Raymond Epps with 8:37 remaining in the game.
At that time, however, it was a little too late.
White threw the ball 13 times, completing six of his attempts for 80 yards and a touchdown.
Kareem Orr was also injured in the game; his status will be something to monitor leading up to next week’s home matchup with the UCLA Bruins.