Strong Second Half Propels No. 1 Trojans Over No. 14 Arizona State, 38-28
Oct. 1, 2005
TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) - The strength and speed of LenDale White and Reggie Bush lifted No. 1 USC out of trouble on a sweltering Saturday in the desert.
White rushed for 197 yards in 19 attempts, Bush gained 158 in 17 carries, and the Trojans rallied from 18 points down at the half to beat No. 14 Arizona State 38-28, breaking a Pac-10 and school record with their 26th victory in a row.
USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-10) abandoned the big-play passing game in favor of the run, and the Sun Devils (3-2, 1-1) were helpless to stop it.
The Trojans outrushed the Sun Devils 373-68 in a matchup of two of the nation's most prolific offenses.
Bush had touchdown runs of 24 and 34 yards, the second one giving the Trojans the lead for good 31-28 with 3:44 to go. White scored on romps of 32 and 46 yard, the latter putting USC up 38-28 with 2:22 left after Arizona State's Sam Keller was intercepted for the fourth time.
Keller completed 26 of 44 for 349 yards and two touchdowns but was intercepted five times, four in the second half after the Sun Devils took a 21-3 lead at the break. Keller had been intercepted only twice going into the game, both in the season opener.
It was the second week in a row that USC fell behind on the road and rallied. Last week at Oregon, the Trojans trailed 13-0 but scored the next 45 points to win.
The two-time defending national champions have outscored opponents in the second half 160-28 this season, including 35-7 in front of a capacity Sun Devil Stadium crowd of 71,706.
Still, after Matt Leinart's 1-yard sneak had put USC ahead for the first time, 24-21, with 8:46 to play, the Sun Devils overcame a personal foul penalty that made it 1st-and-25 at their 15 to go the length of the field.
Keller's 24-yard pass down the sidelines to Rudy Burgess and Burgess' 6-yard run to the 1 set up a scoring toss to Lee Burghgraef that put Arizona State on top 28-24 with 5:57 to play.
The Trojans needed only five plays, three of them on the ground, to retake the lead. Bush's 34-yard ramble capped the drive.
On the next possession, Derek Hagan went high to catch Keller's pass over the middle. The ball slipped out of his hands and into the arms of USC freshman Kevin Ellison. White's 46-yard TD run gave USC a comfortable lead for the first time.
Hagan had 10 catches for 162 yards.