Southern Cal 45,

Arizona State 7

-- Coach Pete Carroll and his Southern California Trojans kept hearing how lucky they were to beat California.

They won't be called lucky after Saturday's game against Arizona State.

A week after getting past Cal despite being soundly beaten statistically, No. 1 USC took command early and routed the 15th-ranked Sun Devils, 45-7.

"This was an important statement -- we left no doubt about it," Carroll said. "I thought it was going to be a great challenge. We felt like we were a step ahead all day long and we took advantage of it. I don't think there was much doubt at all at any time in the game."

ASU (5-1, 2-1 Pacific-10) was the third straight unbeaten opponent to play USC (6-0, 3-0). Stanford and Cal challenged the Trojans, losing by a combined nine points.

But the Sun Devils presented no such challenge, trailing 42-7 at halftime. The 42 points are the most the Trojans have scored in a half since they got 42 in the first half against Oregon State in 1981.

"We didn't get tricked today, we got outplayed," ASU Coach Dirk Koetter said. "We got off to a horrendous start from a field position standpoint. The first quarter was the worst we've played all year. I didn't think we would get totally stoned in the running game in the first half -- we couldn't get two inches."

The Trojans held the Sun Devils to a net 24 yards on 30 rushes.