PAC-12 Football Preview | USC vs ASU
The NCAA sanctioned USC Trojans head out to Tempe for their first road test of the young season against the Arizona State Sun Devils who are looking to rebound from a disappointing road loss at Illinois just a week ago.
Trojans v Sun Devils
Venue/Stadium: Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe AZ
Time/Date: 10:15 PM EDT, Saturday, September 24, 2011
NFL Odds From: 5 Dimes
Spread (ATS): ASU -3
Southern California are playing possessed and are coming into the battle in the desert off three straight wins including a commanding 38-17 win over Syracuse in Week 3.
The only thing scary about the Trojans win was their slow early start. But an angry finish put the Orange away for good as quarterback Matt Barkley racked 324 yards and threw touchdown passes to five different receivers while tying the school record for touchdowns in a game for the third time in his career.
Senior tight end Rhett Ellison along with TE Xavier Grimble, freshman Marqise Lee, freshman TE Randall Telfer and sophomore wide receiver Robert Woods were the USC standouts to reel in Barkley’s spirals.
Meanwhile, the Sun Devils fell to 2-1 with a 17-14 to the Fighting Illini, and will hope their return to Tempe will put them back on the rails to winning the PAC-12 South with USC out of contention.[soliloquy id=”82219″]
A 16-yard touchdown sealed the Devils’ fate after leading 14-1o to begin the final quarter of play.
The ASU defense broke down, but the offensive line was far worse, allowing QB Brock Osweiler to be sacked six times as he was constantly hounded by the Fighting Illini pass rush. He finished with 256 yards passing, one touchdown and two interceptions. Gerell Robinson reeled in eight balls for 88 yards and one touchdown.
The o-line also struggled with penalties, which snuffed out key drives. Arizona State was whistled eight times for 91 yards overall. That lack of discipline on both sides of the ball will be too much to overcome against the Trojans.
The Sun Devils will need to improve quickly if they want to take down USC for the first time in the teams’ last 11 meetings. The Trojans hung on to a 34-33 win last season.
Matt’s Prediction: USC 31. ASU 28- While Arizona State proved in Week 2 that can play on the big stage beating 2-1 Missouri 37-30 in overtime, USC is a far better team than Mizzou. Recent history suggests the Trojans win this one , and I expect another close one with the experience of USC coming out on top.
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