ASU Football: Sun Devils will look to take advantage of Trojans

TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Manny Wilkins
TEMPE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 23: Quarterback Manny Wilkins /

The ascending ASU football team will look to keep their momentum going as they take on the descending USC Trojans.

Arizona State is riding high off of two solid wins against Washington and Utah that has put them in a position to take control of the Pac-12 South.

Meanwhile, USC is coming off an embarrassing loss to Notre Dame and a whirlwind of scrutiny that this team was over-hyped coming into the season.

This game is a crucial one to determine the standings in the Pac-12 South with the winner of this game controlling their own destiny.

While the Sun Devils are riding high off of two big-time wins, it isn’t their offense that has been carrying the team. No, it isn’t the sophomore receiver N’Keal Harry, who is leading the conference in receptions per game, or the redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins, who only has three interceptions on the season, it is the defense.

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A defense that for the past two seasons had been one of the worst in the nation has now become a defense that has held their opponents to 10 or fewer points in the past two weeks.

Defensive coordinator Phil Bennett only needed half of a season to turn Arizona State’s defense into an actual defensive unit that has the ability to stop the opposing team more times than not.

The X-factor in this game will be Sam Darnold. After bursting onto the scene last season (and putting everyone on notice when he torched Arizona State) he has had a less than stellar second season as the starter.

While he still has a decent stat-line, he hasn’t looked comfortable in all parts of the game. After receiving No. 1 overall pick hype coming into the season he is now considering staying at college for another season according to multiple outlets.

The main reason for this is his inability to string together smart drives, and his high interception rate of 1.25 per game. This team is relying heavily on him, and while he has shown at times that he can shoulder the load there have been other times where he has been his own worst enemy.

Next: ASU Football: 2017 Pac-12 Week Nine Power Rankings


Arizona State’s offense has been lack luster the past two weekends as they went up against two of the better defenses in the Pac-12. I expect the offense to get going and the defense to keep rolling as the Sun Devils show that they are here to stay atop the Pac-12 South.

Arizona State 37, USC 31