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ASU shocks USC on Hail Mary

Oct 5, 2014 - 7:22 AM Los Angeles, CA ( - Prayer answered.

Jaelen Strong caught a 46-yard Hail Mary pass for a touchdown on the final play of the game and Arizona State shocked No. 16 Southern California 38-34 on Saturday night.

Mike Bercovici, filling in for an injured Taylor Kelly, capped his 510-yard passing night by tossing his third TD pass to Strong, who leapt in front of USC's Hayes Pullard at the goal line to give Arizona State its first win at the Coliseum since 1999.

"In the end, it's the old adage. That's why you play 60 minutes, that's why you play four quarters," said USC head coach Steve Sarkisian.

The Sun Devils scored the final 13 points after Javorius Allen's 53-yard TD run gave the Trojans a 34-25 lead with 3:02 left.

Bercovici completed 27-of-45 passes and tossed five touchdowns, while Strong hauled in 10 receptions for 202 yards for the Sun Devils (4-1, 2-1 Pac-12), who were thrashed by UCLA 62-27 last Thursday.

The Trojans were the only team in the FBS that had not surrendered a touchdown pass coming in.

Allen carried the ball 29 times for 143 yards and two scores and added 86 yards on four catches. Cody Kessler was 28-of-45 for 273 yards and Nelson Agholor posted 85 yards on nine receptions for USC (3-2, 2-1), which has dropped two of its last three games.

Allen's touchdown appeared to put the game away, but Arizona State answered right back when Bercovici hit Cameron Smith for a 73-yard score on its first offensive snap to trim the gap to 34-32 with 2:43 on the clock.

The Sun Devils' defense forced a three-and-out and regained possession at their own 28 with 23 ticks remaining.

Bercovici fired a 26-yard completion to Gary Chambers to get Arizona State past midfield, setting up the climactic finish.

Earlier, Agholor's 53-yard punt return for a score opened the scoring at the 9:46 mark of the first.

Strong then hauled in TD passes of four and 77 yards, respectively. Bercovici found Kody Kohl for a two-point conversion to give the Sun Devils a 15-7 advantage midway through the second.

Allen's 1-yard TD plunge and Andre Heidari's 35-yard field goal put USC in front, 17-15, heading into the break.

Alex Garoutte's 19-yard field goal midway through the third quarter staked Arizona State to an 18-17 edge, but USC scored the next 10 points.

Kessler's 24-yard strike to Agholor led to a 33-yard Heidari field goal on the Trojans' ensuing drive.

Following an ASU punt, Allen broke off a 15-yard run and then sprinted down the right sideline for a 37-yard reception on back-to-back plays to put the ball at the Sun Devils' 19.

Kessler barreled in for an 8-yard score three plays later to give the Trojans a 27-18 advantage.

The USC defense forced another punt and then its offense picked up four first downs and took off 5:30 off the clock before booting the ball back to Arizona State with 6:26 left.

Bercovici briskly led the Sun Devils 98 yards in 10 plays, culminating in his 21-yard TD strike to D.J. Foster along the left seam, cutting the deficit to 27-25 with 3:53 to go.

Game Notes

ASU won despite totaling just 31 rushing yards, 231 below its season average. Foster, who was the Pac-12's rushing leader coming in, had just 13 yards on 10 carries ... The Sun Devils were 3-of-12 on third down, while USC finished 11- of-23.