Barkley was just OK, with no star-studded throws and a few mistakes. His second pick was not his fault -- rather, it looked like receiver David Ausberry's -- but his first interception in the end zone was a crucial error that cost USC dearly.
Dillon Baxter got the start he had been waiting all season for, but he did very little with it. Marc Tyler was much, much better in relief, but the Trojans' ground game was still a bit limited. Stanley Havili and Allen Bradford both looked banged up.
CIN THE TRENCHES
The main five USC defensive linemen -- Jurrell Casey and Wes Horton especially -- played well defensively for USC, but this one looked like another "down" in what has been a series of up-and-down performances from the Trojan offensive line. Barkley had limited time on many occasions.
Actually not an awful performance by the Trojans, with both the run and pass defenses limiting the opposition for most of the game. ASU had only 19 offensive points. Linebacker Malcolm Smith, returning from a knee injury, had a key pick six.
Joe Houston missed two short field goals in the first half and the Trojans gave up a kickoff return touchdown to the Sun Devils. T.J. McDonald's blocked punt and Torin Harris' two-point return are really the only things keeping this unit from an 'F.'
Were the Trojans motivated to play this game? Heading into it they said they were, but it sure didn't seem like it early on. But Lane Kiffin's squad did turn it up some in the second half, and the coach's playcalling was fairly interesting.