Trojans edge out Sun Devils, 31-26

first_img“We were really concerned about [Daniels] scrambling, he had a lot of carries out of the pocket,” defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said. “[ASU freshman quarterback Joey Yellen] was more of a traditional drop-back passer, and so we alerted the guys when we found out what the situation was going to be. It didn’t really change that many of the calls, just probably played a little bit more split-safety coverages, particularly once we got a lead.” Freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis threw for 432 yards, four touchdowns and an interception in the Trojans’ 31-26 win over Arizona State Saturday. (Photo courtesy of Nigel Amstock / CU Independent) Through the first quarter, it looked like the Trojans — who were routed by Oregon 56-24 last weekend — would have the upper hand this time around. Slovis left the game for much of the third quarter and the beginning of the fourth due to a calf cramp, and redshirt junior Matt Fink led the Trojans to a field goal by redshirt sophomore kicker Chase McGrath. It was USC’s only score after the first quarter. The Trojans are now bowl-eligible after missing out on a bowl appearance last season. However, USC can’t afford complacency in its final two games against Cal and UCLA. Although the Trojans gave up four passing touchdowns to Yellen in his debut, Pendergast said the defense accomplished its main goal — forcing ASU to win through the air. Slovis broke USC’s record for most passing yards in the first quarter with 297. He also had four passing touchdowns in the first frame, including a 58-yarder to freshman running back Kenan Christon and the connection with St. Brown. “It was a lot of fun,” Slovis said of the Trojans’ first quarter performance. “It showed what we can do with this offense when we execute. Later in the game, we did not execute as well. When we execute and everyone does their job, that is what it can look like.” “We wanted to come out here and put our foot down and say, ‘The back is not going to run the ball,’” Pendergast said. “But we were not going to allow them to run the football. They were going to have to beat us throwing the football. And the guys rose up, took the challenge on and I was happy with the numbers.” The black-clad fans at Sun Devil Stadium looked on in horror as USC freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis threw his fourth touchdown pass of the first quarter. Slovis fit a perfect ball between three defenders to sophomore wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown for a 95-yard score that gave the Trojans an early 28-7 lead.  The Trojans’ first-quarter dominance was not enough to put the Sun Devils away, though. USC’s offense failed to capitalize on two second-quarter takeaways, including a forced fumble by sophomore safety Talanoa Hufanga and an interception by redshirt sophomore safety Isaiah Pola-Mao.  The Sun Devils had the ball at the Trojans’ 32-yard line with just under a minute left when redshirt senior defensive lineman and team captain Christian Rector tipped a pass before making a diving interception to seal the deal for USC. “It was huge,” Rector said of the Trojans’ win. “Now we are bowl-eligible. It is a big deal, especially after last year. Getting this win is important, especially going forward trying to get these next two.” It looked as though USC had learned from its scoring woes after a disappointing showing against Oregon last weekend. But in the end — after Arizona State outscored the Trojans 19-3 in the final three quarters — USC’s narrow 31-26 victory came down to a takeaway on the final drive. USC was forced to shift its defensive plan after it was announced shortly before game time that ASU freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels, known for his scrambling ability, would not be starting due to a leg injury.  The Trojan defense held ASU to just 1 yard of total offense in the first quarter. The Sun Devils’ sole first-quarter touchdown was set up by a 97-yard kickoff return from ASU senior wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Penalties proved costly for both teams. Redshirt sophomore Jay Tufele’s roughing the passer penalty overturned an interception by Hufanga, and ASU’s subsequent touchdown narrowed the Trojans’ lead to 5. The Sun Devils could have taken the lead midway through the fourth quarter when Slovis threw a pick-six, but the play was called back due to a holding penalty on senior linebacker Khaylan Kearse-Thomas. “To come on the road, down bodies, and those kids find a way to win and your captain makes the final play, it’s special,” head coach Clay Helton said. “That’s what captains do. They don’t wait for other people to make it happen. They make it happen, and I thought it was a very special moment for Christian.” Christon appeared more versatile against ASU, tallying 82 yards receiving and getting 20 carries — the most of his young career. After toting 15 carries last week, it appears the coaches are placing more trust in the young back to balance out the pass-heavy Air Raid approach.last_img read more

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European League Round-Up: Chelsea Stunned At Home, Marseille Extend Winning Start

first_imgHuddersfield Town produced another stunning result on the day when they defeated Crystal Palace 3-0 away from home at Selhurst Park.Joel Ward put through his own goal in the 23rd minute to hand the newly promoted side a shocking lead, before record signing Mounie netted a brace to ensure Frank de Boer started his Premier League managerial career in the worst possible way.Manchester City defeated Premier League new boys Brighton and Hove 2-0 at the Amex Stadium, to ensure they avoided any unforeseen opening day drama. Sergio Aguero and an own goal from Lewis Dunk handed victory to Pep Guardiola’s men, who raced into second-place on the table. ENGLANDWatford and Liverpool battled out an exciting 3-3 draw at Vicarage Road in Saturday’s early kickoff, a game which produced a stunning six-goals, three apiece per half. The Reds would feel hard done by Miguel Britos’s added-time leveler for the Hornets, a contentious goal that denied them maximum points.Stefano Okaka put Watford ahead before Sadio Mane equalized with his first shot of the season. Abdoulaye Doucoure put Watford ahead going into the break. On resumption of the second half, Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino leveled from the spot, after which club record signing Mohamed Salah put the Reds ahead for the first time on the day.Marco Silva’s blushes were saved late on when Britos scored a goal despite looking to have been in an offside position after the ball struck his arm, a strike which ensured the young Portuguese tactician’s reign at Watford wasn’t off to a losing start.Gary Cahill endured a miserable start to life as captain of Chelsea, as he was sent off in the 14th minute of a shocking 3-2 home defeat against Burnley.Chelsea, who became the second title holders to lose on the opening day of the season, finished with nine-men, after Cahill and Cesc Fabregas were both sent-off for silly challenges in each half, a real let off for the squad considering their senior player status.Sam Vokes netted a first-half brace added to Stephen Ward’s wonder-strike to ensure the visiting team went three-nil ahead into the break.Record signing Alvaro Morata pulled a goal back for Chelsea moments after coming on as a substitute before David Luiz finished with a precise left foot strike which proved too-little-too-late as the Blues find themselves in 16th-place ahead of next weekend’s London derby against Tottenham Hotspur. Activities from the Premier League and French Ligue 1 was action packed on Saturday, with the English champions Chelsea getting stunned at home by Burnley, while Marseille were lone goals winners away from home.center_img FRANCEOlympique Marseille moved into second-place thanks to a 1-0 away win over Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes. Lucas Ocampo netted the game winning strike in the 87th minute, even as OM managed to do the job on the night in the absence of star player Dimitri Payet who is side lined through injury.Bordeaux were 2-0 winners on the night at home to Metz, thanks to strikes in either half from Valentin Vada and Younousse Sankhare, condemning the away team to yet another league defeat.Goals from Enzo Crivelli and Thomas Mangani led Angers to a 2-0 away victory at new comers Amiens. It was a sweet win for Angers who flexed muscles against Amiens, and they will hope to extend this good form as the season progresses.RelatedBattling Blues Edge London Derby In Six-Goal ThrillerOctober 21, 2017In “England”Ligue 1 Review: Marseille And Monaco Share Spoils In Top 3 Fight As Lyon Suffer Shock Defeat At BordeauxJanuary 29, 2018In “Europe”Iheanacho Ressurects Leicester UCL Hopes, Vardy Hits EPL Century, Martial, Rashford Hit 20-Goal MarkJuly 4, 2020In “England”last_img read more

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