LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Passing, running and playing defense -- No. 8
Southern California has put it all together late in Pete Carroll's
second season as their coach.
Carson Palmer threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and
Justin Fargas ran for 125 yards and another score Saturday in the
Trojans' 34-13 win over Arizona State.
The Trojans' defense limited Andrew Walter and the high-scoring
Sun Devils to just one second-quarter touchdown and a pair of field
"We are tuned in to every game now,'' Carroll said. "A lot of
the top teams are struggling at this time of the year.''
Not the Trojans.
They've overwhelmed their last four opponents and won five
straight after a 3-2 start.
"They're one of the most balanced teams in the Pac-10, can both
run and pass the ball,'' Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said.
Palmer completed 20 of 34 passes for 214 yards for USC (8-2, 6-1
Pac-10), with scoring throws of 18 and 2 yards in the first half.
He capped the scoring on a sneak with 4:39 remaining.
"We've had a tremendous schedule and there hasn't been a week
where Carson hasn't risen to the occasion for us,'' Carroll said.
"He's rock solid in his resolve.''
Fargas carried 26 times and topped the 100-yard mark for the
second time at USC. He put the Trojans in control with a 3-yard
scoring run that gave them a 27-13 lead over the Sun Devils (7-5,
4-3) early in the fourth quarter.
"I just want to move the chains,'' Fargas said. "To put
together a good drive and top it off with a touchdown is a good
Walter was 24-of-49 for 297 yards, but he threw two
interceptions. He also lost a fumble that led to an early touchdown
that put the Trojans ahead to stay. USC also shut down Arizona
State's ground game, allowing just 27 yards.
"They played hard and put pressure on me at times, and I was
forced into some questionable throws,'' Walter said. "They really
got after us.''
Ryan Killeen added field goals of 20 and 41 yards for the
Palmer's late score came after Melvin Simmons intercepted
Walter's pass and returned it 10 yards to the ASU 23 midway through
the fourth quarter.
Earlier in the quarter, Simmons and Mike Pollard stopped the Sun
Devils' Mike Williams for no gain on fourth-and-1 at the Trojans 27
to end an ASU scoring threat.
After Arizona State pulled to 20-13 on Mike Barth's 27-yard
field goal as time expired in the third quarter, Fargas scored to
extend the lead to 14 points.
Down by 17 in the first half, the Sun Devils closed to 20-10 on
a scoring drive that began 2:06 before halftime. Walter ended the
march with a 24-yard throw to Shaun McDonald.
Palmer's scoring passes were a 2-yarder to Alex Holmes for a
17-3 lead in the second quarter, and an 18-yarder to Mike Williams
in the first quarter.
USC went up 10-3 in first quarter, cashing in on Kenechi Udeze's
recovery of Walter's fumble to set up Palmer's touchdown pass to
Barth kicked a 22-yard field goal on the final play of the first
quarter to put Arizona State on the board.