Arizona St. Sun Devils at USC Trojans
Time: 4:30 PM PT, 7:30 PM ET
Online: FOX SPORTS GO
Radio stream: TuneIn
USC is starting to mirror Steve Sarkisian’s tenure at Washington: Strong at home, baffling on the road. Thankfully, the Trojans are at home this week, and they will not have to worry about Taylor Kelly, and they will be matching up with a pretty green defense. Unfortuantely, there are big questions as to whether this defense can provide the proper table setting.
And this matchup is set-up for disaster for the Sun Devils. Arizona State gives up the most explosive plays of any team in the conference (104th in IsoPPP), is 88th in standard down situations and 99th on passing plays. While USC has struggled running the football this season (the Boston College performance will live in infamy), they’ve had no such issues converting it in obvious passing situations. Cody Kessler is completing 72% of his passes and has put up 10 touchdowns and no picks.
The bigger question lies on the other side of the football. USC got torched by Arizona State last season, and so did Washington with Sarkisian and Justin Wilcox. This is a team that just seems built to get beaten by tempo and space (as shown by the Boston College game), and Arizona State is one of the best in college football in spreading teams out and getting them on their heels. Arizona State has a top ten rushing S&P and is also top ten in standard down S&P (USC is in the bottom 25 in standard downs and not much better in rushing S&P), which probably means the Sun Devils will have plenty of chances to get into short yardage situations and try and move that football down the field.