Live updates: USC routs Arizona State, 42-14

Gary Klein and Lindsey Thiry countown to kickoff from Sun Devil Stadium as No. 19 USC opens Pac-12 South division play against Arizona State. 


Last year, Mike Bercovici of Arizona State threw five touchdown passes, including a Hail Mary that beat USC at the Coliseum.

On Saturday, Cody Kessler of USC threw five touchdown passes as the Trojans defeated the Sun Devils at Tempe, Ariz.

No Hail Mary necessary.

USC routed Arizona State, 42-14, by taking advantage of sloppy play by the Sun Devils to build a five-touchdown lead after the first half.


The Trojans, ranked No. 19 in the nation, improved their record to 3-1 overall, 1-1 in Pac-12 Conference play. Arizona State fell to 2-2, 0-1.

Arizona State committed four turnovers in the first half -- three fumbles and an interception -- and never got untracked despite outgaining USC in rushing yardage, 182-76, while averaging 5.2 yards a carry.

Kessler completed 19 of 33 passes for 375 yards before he was replaced by Max Browne midway through the fourth quarter.

Many of Kessler’s passing yards came after the catch as Arizona State defensive backs had trouble staying with USC’s talented stable of receivers.

In the first half, Kessler also led the Trojans in rushing, with 15 yards in two carries. No matter. USC led, 35-0, as the Sun Devils had a meltdown in the final minutes.

The Trojans were up, 21-0, and Arizona State had the ball on the Trojans’ one-yard line with 25 seconds left in the half when Bercovici fumbled the ball and Chris Hawkins picked it up and raced 94 yards for a USC touchdown.


De’Chavon Hayes then fumbled the kickoff and Soma Vainko recovered for USC. After a sack, Kessler found JuJu Smith-Schuster for a 10-yard scoring pass with three seconds left.

Freshman Ronald Jones came on in the second half and finished with 54 yards in 10 carries to lead USC in rushing.


Mike Bercovici and Gary Chambers gamely advanced Arizona State from the Sun Devils’ 22 to USC’s 12, but a sack and three consecutive incomplete passes put an end to the scoring threat.

Chambers caught three passes for 66 yards on the possession.


USC has replaced its starters with backups, up 42-14 as time ticks down in the fourth quarter.

Max Browne is in at quarterback for USC.

And there’s a flag.

Chris Brown is called for a false start. That’s the 10th penalty by USC.

Justin Davis rushes for eight yards before he is tackled for a two-yard loss.

Third and nine, Browne completes a pass to Tyler Petite, short of the first down.

USC punts.

USC 42, Arizona State 14 -- 7:45 left in the fourth quarter

Arizona State scored on USC’s reserves. Running back Demario Richard capped a nine-play, 74-yard drive with a four-yard carry for a touchdown.


Arizona State starts at its own 26-yard line.

USC is playing freshmen Noah Jefferson and Rasheem Green on the defensive line. Freshman Isaiah Langley is in at cornerback.

The Sun Devils are still chipping away with the run.

Demario Richard and Kalen Ballage rush for six yards each in consecutive carries.

Mike Bercovici completes three consecutive passes to put Arizona State in scoring position, on USC’s four-yard line.

Richard rushes for four yards for a touchdown.

The extra point is good.

USC 42, Arizona State 7 -- 10:41 left in the fourth quarter

The few fans left in Sun Devil Stadium are heading for the exits. Cody Kessler caps a six play, 65-yard scoring drive with a 10-yard pass to Isaac Whitney for a touchdown. USC takes a commanding 42-7 lead as time ticks down in the fourth quarter.

Arizona State starts at its own 20-yard line.

Freshman Cameron Smith nearly intercepts Mike Bercovici’s pass, but it slips through his hands.

USC tackles Bercovici for a loss on second down and the defense swarms to the ball on third down, to stop the Sun Devils well short of a first down.


Arizona State punts.

USC starts at its own 35-yard line.

Cody Kessler completes a 24-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster.

Arizona State doesn’t have the ability to beat any of USC’s athletes in one-on-one match ups and that’s the scenario most of USC’s receivers have been in tonight.

Ronald Jones rushes for 11 and 22 yards in consecutive carries. Jones broke at least two tackles, then dragged a couple of defenders with him for a few yards.

USC is on Arizona State’s nine-yard line.

Kessler completes a 10-yard pass to Whitney for a touchdown.

Four USC players have caught passes for touchdowns.


USC’s offense has looked lackluster in the second half.

USC starts at the 25-yard line.

The offense sputters on the first two downs before Cody Kessler completes a 23-yard pass to Steven Mitchell Jr.

Mitchell has four catches for 66 yards and a touchdown.

USC’s offense has had trouble finding momentum in third quarters and tonight is no different.

The drive stalls and USC punts.

USC 35, Arizona State 7 -- 1:55 left in the third quarter

Arizona State avoids being shut out in Sun Devil Stadium. Mike Bercovici leads an 11-play, 82-yard drive that is capped by a one-yard rush by Demario Richard for a touchdown.


Most fans who left Sun Devil Stadium at halftime did not return. The noise level has dropped considerably and so has the intensity of this game.

Arizona State starts at its own 18-yard line.

USC has shown improvements in several areas tonight, but stopping the run isn’t one of them.

Demario Richards rushes for six, 10 and five yards in three carries.

Bercovici 13-yard pass to Tim White and later in the drive completes a 33-yard pass to D.J. Foster. There’s a dull roar that brings some life into Sun Devil Stadium.

Arizona State is on USC’s 10-yard line.

Bercovici completes an 11-yard pass to Gary Chambers and Richard rushes one-yard for the touchdown.

The extra point is good.

Fireworks in the stadium just startled snoozing fans awake.


Penalties, penalties. USC committed eight against Stanford last week and is up to nine -- for 86 yards -- tonight. There’s still 5:55 left in the third quarter.

USC starts at its own 22-yard line.

Zach Banner and Damien Mama are called for chop blocks to start the drive. Add that to USC’s massive penalty count -- seven for 71 yards.


Justin Davis rushes three yards and then catches a 23-yard pass from Kessler. USC players have dodged several tackles tonight.

Chad Wheeler is called for holding. Penalty count: Eight for 76 yards.

Next play, offensive line false starts. Penalty count: Nine for 86 yards.

USC made eight penalties against Stanford.

The drives picks up no momentum and USC punts.


USC freshman linebacker Cameron Smith sacks Mike Bercovici on third down, which forces Arizona State to punt. The Sun Devils were unable to capitalize on a sack-force-fumble on their own five-yard line.

Arizona State will start at its own 16-yard line.

Greg Townsend Jr. makes it into the backfield, but is unable to tackle Mike Bercovici. It’s an improvement to USC see players there, though.

Bercovici is sacked on third down by Scott Felix, for a loss of four yards.

USC’s defense actually is putting pressure on Arizona State, unlike a week ago against Stanford.

Arizona State punts it 54 yards and Adoree’ Jackson returns it 45 yards, dodging several tackles. He is dragged down by his facemask and USC picks up extra yards on the penalty.

Third down, five yards to the goal line - Kessler is sacked by JoJo Wicker, who also forces a fumble. Arizona State recovers the fumble.


Arizona State takes over on the 14 yard line.

Demario Richard rushes for eight and nine yards before Bercovici scrambles to complete a five-yard pass.

Bercovici completes a five-yard pass to Kody Kohl and then throws long, targeting freshman Iman Marshall’s side of the field, but the pass falls incomplete.

Arizona State’s drive stalls after Cameron Smith sacks Bercovici for a loss of nine yards.

Arizona State punts.


USC quarterback Cody Kessler is 15 of 25 for 295 yards and four touchdowns, with an interception.

Arizona State quarterback Mike Bercovici is 10 of 18 for 77 yards with an interception.

Adoree’ Jackson has three catches for 131 yards and a touchdown.

USC’s glaring stat is the number of penalties: Six for 60 yards. Arizona State has one penalty for 15 yards.

USC 35, Arizona State 0 -- halftime

What a crazy turn of events in the last two drives, each resulting in a USC touchdown. USC forces a fumble on the kickoff, recovers it and Cody Kessler completes a ten-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster. The Trojans take a 35-0 lead into halftime.


USC kicks off -- Quinton Powell forces a fumble and Soma Vainuku recovers it. Vainuku always has been a bruiser on special teams.

USC starts the drive at its own four-yard line.

Kessler is sacked for a six-yard loss and then has to throw the ball away on second down.

Third down, seven seconds left in the half, and Kessler completes a 10-yard pass to Smith-Schuster for a touchdown.

The extra point is good.

USC 28, Arizona State 0 -- 25 seconds left in the second quarter.

Delvon Simmons forces an Arizona State fumble on the one-yard line and Chris Hawkins scoops it up and returns it 94-yards for a USC touchdown.

Arizona State starts at its own 24-yard line.

Mike Berocivici completes a five-yard pass to D.J. Foster.

Bercovici completes an eight-yard pass to Kody Kohl.

Greg Townsend Jr. puts pressure on Bercovici, who throws the ball out of bounds.

Bercovici completes a 22-yard pass to Kohl, but the drive stalls on the next three plays. Coach Todd Graham elects to go for it on fourth down and Jonathan Lockett is called for pass interference, which gives Arizona State an automatic first down.

That’s USC’s sixth penalty for 60 yards.

Bercovici completes a four-yard pass to De’Chavon Hayes and then Hayes rushes for 16 yards, to bring the Sun Devils to USC’s one-yard line.


USC makes it into the backfield, Delvon Simmons forces a fumble and Chris Hawkins scoops it up and returns it 94 yards for a touchdown.

Just when you think the Trojans are up to their old tricks and are about to allow an opponent to score going into halftime, the defense comes up with a huge play. Perhaps, a play that could really turn momentum for this team.

USC 21, Arizona State 0 -- 3:29 left in the second quarter

Adoree’ Jackson is a playmaker wherever he is on the field. Cody Kessler completes a short pass to Jackson on third down and Jackson turns it into a 41-yard gain to setup a touchdown. Kessler completes a four-yard pass for a touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster. USC went 66 yards on six plays.

USC takes over at its own 34-yard line and Kessler completes a 12-yard pass to Tyler Petite.

Tre Madden rushes for seven yards before he appears to slip on the turf on his next carry and loses three yards.


Third and six, Kessler completes a pass to Adoree’ Jackson -- who makes several defenders miss and gains 41 yards. NFL scouts sitting behind me, someone mutters, “Are you kidding me?”

Kessler throws a four-yard touchdown to Smith-Schuster.

The extra point is good.


USC’s defense forces Arizona State to attempt a 52-yard field goal, which is no good. Sun Devils kicker Zane Gonzalez is 0-2 tonight.

Arizona State starts at its own 25-yard line.

Demario Richard rushes for four yards and five yards before Mike Bercovici completes a nine-yard pass to Kody Kohl.

Su’a Cravens makes a massive hit for a loss of four yards. There’s a small crowd of scouts in the press boxD. They must be impressed with Cravens’ play.

Bercovici completes a 14-yard pass.

Richard rushes for eight yards and three yards as Arizona State chips away at USC’s defense.

Kalen Ballage rushes for two yards.

De’Chavon Hayes is tackled at the line of scrimmage by Cameron Smith. Smith came into the game as USC’s leading tackler.


Bercovici throws incomplete on third down.

Arizona State misses a 52-yard field goal attempt.

USC 14, Arizona State 0 -- 11:22 left in the second quarter.

USC safety John Plattenburg intercepts the first pass of his career and the Trojans capitilize on it when Cody Kessler throws a 27-yard pass to Steven Mitchell, Jr. for a touchdown. The drive took nine plays and covered 74 yards.

Arizona State starts the drive at its own 37-yard line.

Kalen Ballage rushes for three yards before Mike Bercovici throws a long pass -- but there aren’t any Arizona state players around -- and Plattenburg makes his first career interception.

USC takes over at its own 26-yard line.

Kessler throws deep for Mitchell who has a one-on-one match up, but Mitchell stretches for the pass and isn’t able to hold onto the ball.

Kessler completes a 13-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster and USC picks up extra yards because Arizona State is called for roughing the passer -- the Sun Devils first penalty of the game.

Kessler throws deep again, clearly part of USC’s game plan, but it is well beyond Mitchell and falls incomplete.


Kessler is under pressure and throws an incomplete pass, then he dodges two sacks and somehow manages to complete a 12-yard pass to Justin Davis. Great moves by Kessler to keep the drive alive.

Mitchell catches a six-yard pass, Kessler throws an incomplete pass and then finds Mitchell again for a touchdown.

The extra point is good.


USC’s defense forces Arizona State to punt. Penalties already are a problem for the Trojans, who have five for 45 yards. USC’s offense stalls, in large part because of penalties, and the Trojans punt.

Arizona State starts at its 23-yard line.

More penalties for USC, Scott Felix is offsides.

Mike Bercovici sees a wide-open Kody Kohl over the middle, but Kohl drops the pass. Bercovici completes a four-yard pass to D.J Foster, but it is a yard short of a first down.

Arizona State punts.

USC starts at its 20-yard line.

Another penalty, Zach Banner is called for a false start.

Sun Devil Stadium is loud, but USC’s offense keeps moving. Third and 15, Cody Kessler completes a 15-yard pass to Tre Madden.

Freshman Ronald Jones is getting involved, he rushes for 11-yards in his second carry.

Kessler, who has been set on throwing to JuJu Smith-Schuster the last three games, is spreading the ball around. He completes a pass, no gain, to Isaac Whitney.


Kessler completes a three-yard pass to tight end Tyler Petite, which sets up third and seven.

That’s the end of the first quarter.

Kessler completes a long pass to Smith-Schuster. But more penalties, Petite is called for pass interference.

Third and 22, Kessler throws it away.


Cody Kessler keeps a drive alive when he rushes 21 yards for a first down, a move rarely seen by Kessler. However the drive stalls short of field goal range and USC punts.

USC starts at its own 30-yard line.

Kessler throws deep to JuJu Smith-Schuster, but it falls incomplete.

Justin Davis loses a yard on his first carry of the game.

Freshman offensive lineman Chuma Edoga is called for a false start.

Third and 16, Kessler doesn’t have anyone open and rushes 21 yards for a first down.

Kessler’s pass is knocked down near the line of scrimmage and Tre Madden is tackled for a loss, which forces USC to punt.

USC 7, Arizona State 0 -- 7:26 left in the first quarter.

USC’s defense allows long runs by D.J. Foster and Kalen Ballage, but manages to take over on downs after Arizona State misses a 47-yard field goal.


Arizona State starts at its own 22-yard line.

Mike Bercovici hands off to Foster -- who is carving USC’s defense -- and rushes for 14 yards.

Penalties were a problem for USC last week against Stanford and the Trojans just committed two on the same play. Iman Marshall is called for hands to the face and it will be enforced, which gives Arizona State a first down.

Ballage rushes for 15 yards and one yard on consecutive plays.

Bercovici completes a four-yard pass to Demario Richard before he throws one incomplete, which forces Arizona State to attempt a field goal.


USC 7, Arizona Stat 0 -- 10:31 left in the first quarter

It takes USC three plays and 77 yards to complete its first scoring drive. Cody Kessler finds Adoree’ Jackson in a one-on-one matchup, completes a short pass that Jackson turns into an 80-yard touchdown.

USC starts on its own 23-yard line.

Center Max Tuerk snaps the ball between Cody Kessler’s legs, but Kessler recovers it.

Adoree’ Jackson, who didn’t touch the ball on offense against Stanford, catches a six-yard pass.


Next play, Kessler throws to Jackson again, who wins a one-on-one and sprints for a touchdown.

The extra point is good.


It’s a wild start in Tempe. USC quarterback Cody Kessler completes a 52-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster to start the game, before he throws his first interception of the season.

Arizona State can’t capitalize on the turnover. The Sun Devils fumbledinside USC’s 25-yard line.

USC won the toss and electe to receive.

The Trojans will start from their own 25-yard line.

Quarterback Cody Kessler completes a 52-yard pass to JuJu Smith-Schuster on the first play of the game.

Tre Madden rushes for two yards.

Kessler gets several players involved early, completes a 10-yard pass to Steven Mitchell, Jr.

Kessler throws for the end zone for Mitchell, but Kareem Orr intercepts the pass.

Arizona State starts from its own two-yard line.

Demario Richard rushes 61 yards, breaks several tackles -- Su’a Cravens finally tackles him.


Bercovici throws an incomplete pass, Kalen Ballage rushes for two yards.

Bercovici challenges Adoree’ Jackson’s side of the field and completes an 11-yard pass to D.J. Foster.

Arizona State is on USC’s 24-yard line.

USC forces a fumble and Scott Felix recovers it.


Less than 10 minutes until kickoff.

Reporters are allowed on the field during warm ups at Sun Devil Stadium and there were several familiar faces on the sidelines.

Former Trojans tailback LenDale White and linebacker Keith Rivers are in attendance. Gary Klein captured a photo of them on the sideline.

Defensive backs Lamar Jackson from Franklin High in Elk Grove and Jack Jones from Long Beach Poly, both elite 2016 recruits, are on an official visit to Arizona State this weekend and were chatting with Arizona State assistants on the sideline. Both also are USC recruits.

The student section, which has moved to each end zone from the sideline, is packed and it is already loud as fans continue to trickle into the stadium.


It’s a cooker in Tempe, Ariz.

The temperature is hovering around 100 degrees and the forecast says it will be in the high 90s when USC opens Pac-12 Conference South Division play against Arizona State in Sun Devil Stadium at 7:30 p.m.


This is USC’s first road game this season and some consider it a must-win for Coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff after an unexpected 41-31 loss to Stanford last week that dropped the Trojans’ record to 2-1, 1-1 in conference play.

USC, ranked 19th in the Associated Press poll, has not recently fared well against the Sun Devils.

Arizona State has won three of the last four meetings, including a victory in 2013 that led to the firing of coach Lane Kiffin and a 2014 victory that came down to a Hail Mary pass completed by Mike Bercovici.

The Sun Devils are 2-1. This is their first Pac-12 Conference game of the season.