EditorsNote: Tweaks headline
USC quarterback Kedon Slovis passed for a school freshman-record 432 yards and four touchdowns and Amon-Ra St. Brown had eight receptions for 173 yards and a touchdown as the Trojans held off the host Arizona State Sun Devils 31-26 in a Pac-12 game Saturday.
Slovis threw all of his touchdowns in the final 10 minutes of the first quarter, including a 95-yarder to St. Brown and two to running back Kenan Christon, as the Trojans built an early 28-7 lead.
ASU true freshman quarterback Joey Yellen completed 28 of 44 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns in his first game, starting because freshman Jayden Daniels suffered an apparent knee injury in a 42-31 loss at UCLA on Oct. 26.
Yellen threw touchdowns passes to Kyle Williams and Frank Darby in the first half to cut the USC lead to 28-13, and his 2-yarder to Brandon Aiyuk early in the third quarter made it 28-20.
Chase McGrath’s 41-yard field goal gave USC a 31-20 lead before Yellen hit Darby on a 15-yard score with 8:54 remaining after a roughing the passer penalty negated a USC interception to extend the drive. A two-point conversion pass failed to keep it 31-26.
A defensive holding penalty on Arizona State negated a 20-yard interception return for a touchdown by Khaylan Kearse-Thomas on the next series, when Slovis returned after missing three series with an apparent left leg injury.
USC defensive lineman Christian Rector ended Arizona State’s last drive when he tipped and intercepted Yellen’s pass at his 32-yard line with 25 seconds remaining, a call confirmed after replay review.
USC had 550 yards in total offense and the Sun Devils had 339. The Trojans (6-4, 5-2 Pac-12) kept alive their hopes for a berth in the league title game. No. 8 Utah (8-1, 5-1) leads the division but has lost to USC. ASU is 5-4, 2-4.
USC’s Christon had four receptions for 82 yards and had 62 yards rushing. Michael Pittman had 11 receptions for 146 yards and Drake London caught a touchdown pass.
Arizona State’s Eno Benjamin had 52 yards rushing and caught seven passes for 48 yards. Aiyuk had five catches for 51 yards and his 97-yard kickoff return set up the Sun Devils’ first score.
—Field Level Media