USC: Gerell Robinson

Film study: Arizona State

August, 8, 2012
8/08/12
4:12
PM PT
Here’s the fourth post in our new ‘film study’ series started last week.

Every other day from now until Aug. 23, we’ll be putting up a set of pertinent-to-this-year notes from each game, going of course in chronological order from the Minnesota season opener to the UCLA season finale. At the end, on Aug. 25, we’ll have one last post with our overall takeaways from the re-watching. By then, it’ll be the week of this year’s opener.

We've already done USC’s 19-17 win over Minnesota, 23-14 win over Utah and 38-17 win over Syracuse. Here, now, are our five notes — four big things and a bunch of little ones — from USC’s 43-22 loss to Arizona State on Sept. 24, 2011.

Barkley and USC's red zone turnovers

USC's offense was effective against a good Arizona State defense -- very effective, in fact. The Trojans just kept hurting themselves with ill-advised turnovers near the end of their drives, and the Sun Devils kept capitalizing.

After the game, coach Lane Kiffin deflected a lot of the blame away from quarterback Matt Barkley from the two picks he threw that led directly to ASU touchdowns. But a re-watching of the tape shows at least one of them was a clear mistake by Barkley.

With the Trojans on the ASU 12-yard line after a big punt return by Nickell Robey midway through the second quarter, Barkley looked to throw a short pass to Robert Woods just to the right of the original line of scrimmage. And so he tossed it over while failing to realize that Vontaze Burfict was in an underneath zone and only had to take two quick steps to his left to pick out the ball easily.

Then, in the fourth quarter, USC right tackle Kevin Graf messed up big-time in blocking for Barkley. When his man beat him rushing around the edge, Graf held him, drawing a flag, but didn't hold him well enough, so the Sun Devil still got to Barkley and pressured his throw, which was picked off by Shelly Lyons and returned for a touchdown.

You can make a good case that the second one wasn't Barkley's fault, especially considering the Trojans were already down by two TDs at the point. But the first one was. And that's not to say anything about USC's quarterback's other turnover, when he fumbled in the red zone on third down and wasted a nice chance at a field goal.

Marc Tyler also lost a fumble when he was running really well and looking poised to the score late in the third quarter.

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Postgame thoughts: Arizona State

November, 7, 2010
11/07/10
10:48
AM PT
Notes, quotes and video from USC's 34-33 win over Arizona State on Saturday night at the Coliseum:
  • It was a rollercoaster game, a seesaw game, a wild game and a crazy game -- but it was a victory for USC. It was also "far from perfect," in Trojans coach Lane Kiffin's relieved words after his Trojans pulled out a win over the visiting Sun Devils. "I really felt like, 'Finally," Kiffin said when asked about his emotions. "We just hadn't had many breaks this year where things go our way. It's really good for our players in such a rollercoaster game." Sun Devils coach Dennis Erickson had very similar comments. "The game was as crazy as they get," he said. "You could stay up all night thinking about what could have happened. It was a back and forth seesaw football game. There are 1,000 things that could have made a difference."
  • The Trojans have lost three games this season, two of which were of the variety they handed to Arizona State on Saturday. But the feelings from those games are gone after this win, left tackle Matt Kalil said: "Just like Coach Kiff says, you take a tough loss like that last week -- a win erases everything. It erases all the bad feeling we got and kinda makes you feel good as a team and as a unit, that we kinda stuck together, made big plays when we needed to and pulled off the win."

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