Bedeviled: Breaks leave Arizona State for USC in first half

Sep 23, 2023, 9:29 PM | Updated: 9:30 pm

Cam Skattebo, Arizona State...

Running back Cameron Skattebo #4 of the Arizona State Sun Devils carries the football en route to scoring on a 15-yard rushing touchdown ahead of linebacker Eric Gentry #18 of the USC Trojans during the first half of the NCAAF game at Mountain America Stadium on September 23, 2023 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Cameron Skattebo was competing at the top of his game in all three facets of the offense for the Sun Devils in the first half, but Arizona State entered the locker room at halftime down 21-13 to Southern Cal. at Mountain America Stadium in Tempe on Saturday.

The junior running back led the team in passing, 2-for-3 with 42 yards; rushing, nine carries for 46 yards and a score, and had a catch for eight yards.

But the half may end being defined as what could’ve been for ASU.

After forcing a USC fumble on their second possession, the Sun Devils punched it in on a Drew Pyne scramble and two Skattebo runs.

On the ensuing kickoff, the Trojans’ Zachariah Branch appeared to fumble and ASU recovered, sending the stadium into hysterics. However, it was called back, as Branch was ruled down on replay.

Pyne started slow in the first half, going 0-for-3 through the air in the first quarter. In the second quarter, though, he helped march the Sun Devils to a field goal. ASU went 48 yards on 13 plays over 5:47 while going 4-for-6 for 31 yards.

After the field goal, special teams opted for a surprise onside kick, which was deflected and wrangled by USC.

With the score 21-10 and Arizona State driving late in the second, Skattebo attempted a halfback pass to Kyson Brown in the red zone, but he overthrew him ever-so-slightly to force ASU to kick the field goal on fourth down.

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Bedeviled: Breaks leave Arizona State for USC in first half