No. 3 Trojans Stave Off Arizona State, 28-21
Oct. 14, 2006
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Chauncey Washington did nearly all the work on a 74-yard fourth-quarter touchdown drive that lifted the Trojans to a 28-21 victory over Arizona State on Saturday night.
The junior tailback scored on a 2-yard run with 4:29 remaining to cap the 14-play drive that ate up nearly seven minutes. He gained 64 yards on 10 carries as the Trojans went strictly with a power running game following an ineffective performance by quarterback John David Booty.
ASU got only one first down after that, and the Trojans ran out the clock after a punt.
Washington, academically ineligible the last two seasons and slowed earlier this year by a pulled hamstring, made his first career start a big one, finishing with a career-high 108 yards on 22 carries.
Booty completed 12 of 25 passes for 148 yards and two touchdowns. He threw only one interception, but Keno Walter-White returned it 37 yards for a touchdown with 3:18 left in the third quarter to tie the game 21-all.
USC (6-0, 4-0 Pac-10) was coming off six-point victories over Washington State and Washington in games that came down to the final play. It appeared the Trojans would have much easier time against the Sun Devils when they took a 21-0 lead in the first 17 1/2 minutes, but it wasn't to be.
The win was the Trojans' 30th in a row at the Los Angeles Coliseum and their 27th straight over a Pac-10 opponent. USC has won 38 consecutive regular-season games and 51 of 53 overall dating back to the 2002 season.
The Sun Devils (3-3, 0-3) routed by No. 10 California and No. 18 Oregon in their previous two games, were lethargic and mistake-prone in the early going. But suddenly, the ASU defense clamped down and turned in a pair of big plays, and the offense did its share.
ASU's Rudy Carpenter completed 12 of 21 passes for 124 yards and one touchdown, and rushed for 49 yards on eight carries. Ryan Torain gained 57 yards on 20 carries for the Sun Devils.
Booty threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to freshman Allen Bradford on USC's first possession. It was Bradford's first career reception.
The Sun Devils forced punts the next two times USC had the ball, but the first was wiped out by a roughing the kicker penalty and Terry Richardson couldn't handle the second, with Shareece Wright recovering at the ASU 11. The turnover put the Trojans in position for a 2-yard scoring run by freshman C.J. Gable.
After Jesse Ainsworth missed a 49-yard field goal, USC moved 67 yards on eight plays, scoring on a 14-yard pass from Booty to Dwayne Jarrett. It was the 33rd touchdown reception of Jarrett's career, breaking the Pac-10 record he shared with Stanford's Ken Margerum.
USC wouldn't cross midfield again until its game-winning drive.
Torain scored on a 6-yard run with 1:34 left in the second quarter to cap an 84-yard drive and make it 21-7. Carpenter's 36-yard pass to Torain on a third-and-21 play kept the drive alive.
With the help of two USC mistakes, the Sun Devils scored again early in the third quarter on an 8-yard pass from Carpenter to Zach Miller, making it 21-14. Booty fumbled when sacked by Kyle Caldwell on the first play of the second half, and ASU's Gerald Munns recovered at the Trojans' 30. An offside penalty against Brian Cushing on a third-down play gave ASU a first-and-goal at the 5.
Then came the interception return by Walter-White. Booty's pass for Jarrett was underthrown and right to Walter-White, who ran untouched into the end zone.