If I were to tell you that the kicking game was a big reason a team lost in a USC game, you wouldn’t have been surprised. What is surprising is that it was the other team’s kicking game that blew the ballgame for a change.
USC and Arizona State were matched almost identically when it came to the stats. They had a similar amount of first downs, total yards, penalties, and punts, and they were each sacked and intercepted the same amount of times. Oddly enough, it was a blocked extra point that helped give the Trojans a 34-33 win. Arizona State scored three straight touchdowns to rally and take the lead 33-29 on USC with about seven minutes left. Their extra point attempt following a 10-yard touchdown pass was blocked, and Torrin Harris returned it the other way for a two-point conversion. Instead of being up 34-29, Arizona State was then up just 33-31.
USC drove 68 yards to set up Joe Houston’s go-ahead 29-yard field goal, which made him 1-for-3 on the game. After missing his first two kicks, Houston became the hero because his adversary, Thomas Weber, not only had the extra point blocked, but he also missed the potential winning field goal for Arizona State from 42 yards away. The NFL doesn’t have the same rule as college where the defending team can return a ball the other way for a two-point conversion. Maybe college football will rethink their policy.