Best win for Mike Bercovici is his comeback against USC

Jul 19, 2015, 12:05 PM | Updated: 12:06 pm

Mike Bercovici’s second career start will be tough to beat.

Bercovici’s 38-34 come from behind win against USC was selected by’s David Lombardi as his “best win.”

After waiting for three years as Arizona State’s backup quarterback, Bercovici was perilously close to an 0-2 record while filling in for injured starter Taylor Kelly. His Sun Devils, out of timeouts, trailed the Trojans 34-25 with just 3:02 remaining. Fans were already exiting the Coliseum in droves, but that’s when Bercovici’s five-play sequence of magic began. He immediately found Cameron Smith for a 73-yard score that pulled the Sun Devils within two, though the situation remained bleak after USC recovered the ensuing onside kick. ASU managed to get one more shot with 23 seconds remaining at their own 28-yard line, and Bercovici cemented himself into Sun Devil lore, finding Gary Chambers for 26 yards before delivering a 46-yard, game-winning Hail Mary to Jaelen Strong as time expired. The quarterback, cramping from dehydration, collapsed on the Coliseum grass after his final heave, introducing a new on-the-belly celebration on a night that saw the birth of two new terms: “Jael Mary” and “BERCOing.”

Bercovici had been desperate for a moment to prove himself and that happened with Taylor Kelly’s injury.
With no timeouts and a little over three minutes left in the game down nine, Bercovici began his miraculous comeback.

A 73-yard toss to Cameron Smith brought ASU within a field goal of winning with 2:43 remaining.

ASU had a failed onside kick, but the Sun Devil’s defense forced a punt with 23 seconds left.

Bercovici’s 28-yard completion to Gary Chambers left ASU with only seconds remaining and set up one of the most memorable plays in Sun Devil history.

The Hail Mary heave as the clock ran out won the game and will be remembered in Tempe for many years to come.

ASU plays USC on September 26.

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