USC Snaps Arizona State

Nov. 4, 2000

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    TEMPE, Ariz. -- Chad Pierson scored on a 2-yard run and USC ended the game with a fumble recovery as the Trojans beat ArizonaState 44-38 in double overtime Saturday night.

    The victory snapped the Trojans' five-game losing streak, their longest innine years.

    Sultan Abdul-Malik sacked Griffin Goodman on Arizona State's final play, andMatt Childers recovered Goodman's fumble. It was a Division I-A record thirdconsecutive overtime for the Sun Devils (5-4, 2-4 Pac-10), who have lost thelast two.

    Last week, Oregon pulled out a 56-55 victory when a 2-point conversionattempt by the Sun Devils went awry. This time, Arizona State would not haveneeded a 2-point try, because Mike Pinkard blocked John Wall's kick.

    But Ennis Davis sacked Goodman on the first Arizona State snap, and Childersforced him to throw the ball away on the next, causing a grounding-the-ballpenalty.

    Facing second-and-5 on the 25, Goodman dropped back and was smothered.

    In the first overtime, Arizona State's Mike Barth kicked his third fieldgoal - a 27-yarder - and Wall tied it with a 23-yarder.

    Carson Palmer, who set up Pierson's score with a 19-yard pass to KearyColbert to the 2, threw touchdown passes of 18 yards to Colbert and 24 toAntoine Harris as the Trojans (4-5, 1-5) built a 35-6 lead in the thirdquarter.

    But the Sun Devils scored four touchdowns in the final 15:46 of regulationand capped their comeback when Goodman threw a 2-point conversion pass toDonnie O'Neal, who caught a 32-yard scoring pass from Goodman with 4:21 left.

    Goodman threw a 45-yard pass to Tom Pace for one touchdown, Pace ran 3 yardsfor another, and Shaun McDonald scored on an 81-yard punt yard - thefourth-longest in Arizona State history.

    Sultan McCullough scored the game's first TD on a 51-yard run and finishedwith a career-high 176 yards on 23 carries - his fourth straight 100-yard gameand sixth of the season. He had 103 yards in the first half, becoming the firstUSC tailback to run for 100 yards in consecutive games since Ricky Ervinsfinished the 1989 season with five in a row.

    Petros Papadakis scored on a 1-yard, and the Trojans also got aspecial-teams TD when Matt Dalton blocked a punt and Steve Stevenson returnedit 3 yards to the end zone.

    That made it 28-3 lead 1:17 into the third quarter.

    Barth hit a 45-yard field goal 2:12 later, but Palmer hit Harris for acompensating score with 8:35 left in the quarter.

    But then the Trojans began to fumble - a problem that started their skid inthe first place during a 31-21 loss at Oregon State. They fumbled four timesand lost all four in the remainder of regulation.

    A fumble by McCullough on the USC 12 helped the Sun Devils to their firstTD. Pace covered the distance in three carries, the last a 3-yard run with 46seconds left in the third quarter.

    Then the momentum took a huge swing. Pierson, a backup fullback inserted attailback as a change of pace, fumbled on the second play of the fourth quarter,and Adam Archuleta recovered. On the first snap, Goodman hit Pace for the scorethat made it 35-20 just 44 seconds into the period.

    After USC's next possession, McDonald made a strong return to the leftsideline, veered across the grain and scored with 11:48 to play.

    He had a 24-yard return late in the quarter, and the Sun Devils went 49yards on six plays to tie it.

    By MEL REISNER
    AP Sports Writer

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