LOS ANGELES -- The Arizona State defense gave USC fits for the better part of three quarters Saturday, even forcing Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley to throw three interceptions for just the second time in his collegiate career.
But even an off day for the heralded quarterback, the Sun Devils could not do enough to pull off an upset in a 38-17 loss to the 19th-ranked Trojans. It was the latest reminder that ASU is still not playing on the same plane as the likes of USC and the other conference powers.
"They came ready to play on defense and offense," junior safety Alden Darby said. "They just outplayed us today."
With Saturday's loss, the Devils were officially eliminated from contention in the Pac-12 South and again failed to become bowl-eligible. But in the process, they got a look at what they hopes to become -- along with what they haven't.
There was more to it than simply getting outplayed in one game. There was a tangible difference in the two programs Saturday, and it was...