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  Christian Rector saw a receiver break free off the edge and slipped into coverage. Realizing the ball was coming his way, he stuck his hand up, tipped it to himself and made a diving interception. With one nimble play, Southern California's 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive lineman halted Arizona State's comeback attempt, secured the Trojans' bowl eligibility and gave coach Clay Helton a respite for at least one more week. Kedon Slovis threw for 432 yards and four touchdowns, Rector made his game-clinching interception with 25 seconds left and USC held on to beat Arizona State 31-26 on Saturday. "I like being in that position at the end of games, having our defense out there," Rector said. "Being able to get stops, we're comfortable doing that."

USC (6-4, 5-2 Pac-12) needed plenty of big stops to become bowl eligible after missing the postseason last year. The Trojans jumped on the Sun Devils with 28 points in the first quarter behind Slovis' 297 yards and four TDs passing. As injuries piled up and Arizona State (5-4, 2-4) found a better rhythm on both sides of the ball, USC's lead dwindled from 21 in the first quarter to five by the fourth. Facing what would have been a disastrous collapse, the Trojans found a way to eke out a win and remain in the thick of the Pac-12 South race, a game behind No. 8 Utah. USC's Amon-Ra St. Brown caught eight passes for 173 yards and Michael Pittman Jr. had 13 catches for 146 yards. - USC/AP College Football


(DS#9 WR) Sr/2020 WR Michael Pittman Jr.Southern California
News Source: USC/AP College Football


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