(Saturday, October 11th)
Final Score: (8) Southern California 28, Arizona State 0
Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Joe McKnight rushed for a career-high 143 yards on 11 carries, as eighth-ranked Southern Cal shut down Arizona State, 28-0, at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
Mark Sanchez had a subpar day under center, completing only 13-of-26 passes for 179 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions for the Trojans (4-1, 2-1 Pac-10), who have won two in a row and hit the road to face Washington State next Saturday. Sanchez added a touchdown run in the win.
Ronald Johnson led the receiving corps with 71 yards on three catches, while Damian Williams added a TD reception and Stafon Johnson rushed for a score.
Rudy Carpenter battled through a sprained left ankle to complete 11-of-20 passes for 126 yards for the Sun Devils (2-4, 1-2), who have dropped their last four contests.
Dimitri Nance rushed for 64 yards on 14 attempts and Michael Jones added four catches for 51 yards in defeat.
Down by three touchdowns, the Sun Devils' first drive of the second half looked like one where they could put points on the board. Unfortunately, Thomas Weber missed a 29-yard field goal attempt low and wide right. He missed a 49-yarder with 8:34 to play in the third, and both sides finished the period scoreless.
USC finally cracked the scoreboard again with 8:09 to play in the contest, as Johnson broke tackles on his way to a two-yard touchdown run. The score put an exclamation point on an eight-play, 92-yard drive and gave the Trojans a 28-0 lead.
Cary Harris picked off ASU backup Danny Sullivan with 1:41 remaining, but a fumble by USC backup Mitch Mustain on the next play was picked up by the Sun Devils at the Trojans' 38. Desperate to break the shutout, Sullivan's last- ditch throw to the end zone on a 3rd-and-5 from the USC 15 was picked off by T.J. Bryant as time ran out.
USC struck on the game's opening possession, as Sanchez capped a 72-yard drive with a one-yard plunge.
The Trojans went up 14-0 with 6:15 left in the half as Sanchez had all day to find Williams in the end zone for a four-yard TD strike.
Two plays later, Nance fumbled but ASU recovered. Further misfortune struck on the next down, as Kevin Thomas stepped in front of a Carpenter pass and rumbled 46 yards down the left sideline for a 21-0 USC advantage.
On the following series, Keegan Herring lost the ball and the Trojans recovered at the Sun Devils' 15-yard-line. However, USC's fake field goal try failed to net a first down and ASU got the ball back at its own six. The visitors were unable to move the ball and went to the break down by three scores.
USC has won the last nine meetings and holds a 16-9 series advantage..Sullivan was 4-of-17 for 28 yards and was picked off twice...Arizona State does not return to action until October 25 by hosting Oregon...The Sun Devils had not been blanked since a 27-0 loss to Cal on October 30, 2004...The Trojans last shutout an opponent on October 20, 2007 in a 38-0 whitewash over Notre Dame.
10/11 20:55:33 ET