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USC Football Falls At Arizona State, 31-16, Despite Xavion Alford's Two Interceptions

Nov 6, 2021

TEMPE, Ariz. (AP) — Freshman Xavion Alford recorded his first two interceptions of his career, but it wasn't enough as USC fell to Arizona State, 31-16, on Saturday night.

USC (4-5, 3-3 Pac-12) alternated between Kedon Slovis and Jaxson Dart at quarterback — and neither could seem to get into a rhythm.

Dart scored on a 9-yard run, but the Trojans had to settle for three Parker Lewis field goals when they had a chance to build a lead.

Slovis threw for 131 yards on 16-of-28 passing and Dart was 8 of 16 for 89 yards. Both threw interceptions.

Rachaad White ran for 202 yards and three touchdowns for Arizona State.

The Sun Devils (6-2, 4-1 Pac-12) relied heavily on their run game to overcome three turnovers and their defense held when it needed to for a much-needed win.

Jayden Daniels was mostly ineffective passing, throwing for 145 yards with two interceptions — both by Alford — but White made up for it after missing last week's game with a right leg injury.

The Trojans and Sun Devils have gone through a bit of adversity this season, yet still were in the mix for the Pac-12 South title.

The Trojans made a coaching change two weeks into the season, the Trojans gave up 40 points in three homes losses and lost star wideout Drake London for the season to a broken ankle last week against Arizona.

The Sun Devils were coming off consecutive lackluster losses, allowing Utah to score the final 28 points and Washington State to score the first 28 last week.

A win over Stanford Friday night put Utah in the pole position for the South, essentially making USC-Arizona State an elimination game.

Arizona State appeared ready to give it away.

The Sun Devils spoiled good drives with turnovers and kept USC's drives alive with untimely penalties. Their defense was sharp when it needed to be, though, holding USC to 65 first-half yards.

Arizona State's run game also was good early.

In the first quarter, DeaMonte Trayanum waited behind his blockers for a hole to open, then burst through for a 14-yard touchdown — not long after a fox ran onto the field and briefly delayed the game.

White broke numerous tackles and carried several defenders on a 26-yard catch-and-run, then burst up the right sideline for a 47-yard touchdown run to put Arizona State up 14-10 at halftime.

Both teams sputtered through most of the second half before White raced off on a 50-yard TD run in the fourth quarter. White put the game out of reach late in the fourth quarter with a 7-yard TD run.


USC plays at California on Saturday. The Trojans return home the following week to host crosstown rival UCLA at United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.