Don Hansen

“ASU Holiday Party 12 Pack of Plays” – Play #2


September 28, 2013 was the date when the Maroon Monsoon hit Tempe for a big-time, Saturday night, Pac-12 South match-up with the University of Southern California Trojans. The Arizona State Sun Devils took a 20-14 lead into the half, but the Trojans marched down the field (three plays for 75 yards in 46 seconds) scoring a touchdown and regaining the lead 21-20 to start the third quarter. The Sun Devils counter-punched 15 seconds later on a 74 yard touchdown reception by DJ Foster to re-take the lead 27-21. Then, our “The ASU Devils Den Holiday Party 12 Pack of Plays” Play #2 happened which was a knockout blow to the Trojans and Lane Kiffen’s head coaching career at USC.

Alden Darby intercepted Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler, and Darby returned it 46 yards for a Sun Devil touchdown.

Kiffen called play-action to challenge the Sun Devil safeties. Kessler made an okay hand-off fake and was looking at his two options to the boundary side of the field. A Trojan wide receiver was what could be a deep post, and the Trojans were hoping that Darby would double him, but Irabor played physically and stayed on the receiver. Darby read the tight end route by Xavier Grimble to the sideline, made a quick break on the ball, and returned it 46 yards, tip-toeing down the sideline in front of the Student Section for the Sun Devil touchdown.

The Sun Devils scored four more touchdowns after the Darby interception to defeat the Trojans 62-41. Later that evening, Kiffen was fired from USC, and Arizona State sat on top of the Pac-12 South standings. A position the Sun Devils would never relinquish during the 2013 season.

The catalyst for the victory over USC was Darby’s big play interception return for a touchdown that sucked the life out of the Trojans, and that is why it is Play #2 of our “Holiday 12 Pack”. Darby, the starting senior safety from Long Beach Millikan High, has a history of stepping up against USC. During the 2012 game in the Coliseum, Darby returned a Matt Barkley pass for a 70 yards interception touchdown, but that was in a Sun Devil loss. Certainly, this “pick 6” felt much better with the victory!



Our special thanks go out to JediASU for all of his long hours of hard work in creating these amazing YouTube clips for Sun Devil nation!


It was brought to my attention on 12/13/13 that another site covering Arizona State athletics has produced a blog series “ASU’s 12 Plays of Christmas” previously. I came up with the idea for our series as I was reading Christmas stories and songs to my baby girl in the days following the Territorial Cup game. I had been keeping a running list of plays of the season, reached a total of 12 to 15 plays I considered top plays, and the term just came to me. However, I failed to do a proper check to ensure it hadn’t been done before. 

I will continue to write our series, but I will rename it. Since we have a podcast segment called “Beers of the Week” and since not everybody celebrates “Christmas”, I have decided to rename the series “The ASU Devils Den Holiday Party 12 Pack of Plays”, the 2013 edition. 

We take great pride in providing Sun Devil nation the most Sun Devil information with the best independent, original, honest, and non-biased commentary, and in absolutely no way was I attempting to use a blog title another site had done previously.


About Don Hansen

Don Hansen

Don is a 2003 graduate of Arizona State University where he spent four years sitting in the front rows of many ASU athletic events leading the rowdy student section. Now, Don co-hosts the "ASU Devils Den" podcast covering every detail of ASU football. Don works and resides in Gilbert, Arizona with his beautiful Sun Devil wife and their two beautiful daughters!

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