November 9, 2009

Extra Points: USC at ASU

Tempe, Ariz.- USC head coach Pete Carroll always has a smile on his face and some extra bounce in his stride after USC gets a win. But when the Trojans apply one of Carroll's cornerstone philosophies, that bounce is even more noticeable.

That was the case Saturday night at Sun Devil Stadium, where multiple reserves stepped up and made great plays, taking advantage of opportunities created by injuries.

Linebacker Shane Horton and defensive tackle Derek Simmons both came up big for USC, helping the Trojan defense lead the way to a 14-9 win at Arizona State.

It started with Horton setting the tone early. After the Trojan defense struggled against the run on ASU's first series, Horton and his teammates adjusted and started flying to the ball.

Horton said that approach was a byproduct of USC's practices in the week leading up to the game.

"I felt like I had a good week of practice. We all did. We went back to basics," Horton said. "We went back to elementary school with it. We were just playing football, having fun with it. I think that helped us out.

"We were flying around, we were hitting our gaps. We played well."


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