Demario Richard ripped off a 61-yard run, and four downs later his Arizona State team found itself on the 1-yard line.
The following sequence summed up ASU’s evening.
Richard couldn’t corral a poorly-exchanged handoff from Mike Bercovici and watched as USC defensive back Chris Hawkins picked the ball off the turf and cruise for a 94-yard touchdown with 22 seconds remaining. Somehow, the Trojans squeezed another touchdown out of it to take a 35-0 lead at the half.
Gump Hayes brought the ensuing kickoff return out of the end zone, fumbled and USC quarterback Cody Kessler would throw a touchdown pass with seconds left.
By the end, USC scored 28 points off turnovers — Richard recorded a fumble early, while Bercovici tallied the bad exchange with his back and also threw a pick — the difference in the final score. Suddenly ASU finds itself 2-2 on the year and still searching for answers. Any defensive issues, kicking concerns and passing game worries can wait (for what it’s worth, the Sun Devils actually looked quite competent in run offense and defense).
Here’s the kicker, courtesy The Arizona Republic’s Doug Haller:
Updating: ASU with 13 fumbles on season, seven lost.
— Doug Haller (@DougHaller) September 27, 2015
That’s easily the most in the nation, and a 180-degree turn after ASU lost four fumbles last season.