USC heads to Tempe to take on Arizona State on Saturday after surviving against Utah State last week.
In the 17-14 win, the Trojans compiled only 282 yards of total offense, but were also able to hold Chuckie Keeton and the explosive Aggies to 285 total yards.
The Trojans also committed no turnovers for the second game in a row, a far cry from the five combined turnovers they committed against Hawaii and Washington State in the first two weeks of the season.
As for Arizona State, after surviving against Wisconsin, the Sun Devils were thumped by Stanford in California by a score of 42-28. On the bright side, they did fight back in the second half after falling behind, 29-0.
Let's take a look at the Pac-12 clash on Saturday in Tempe.
When: Saturday, Sept. 28 at 10:30 p.m. ET
Where: Sun Devil Stadium, Tempe, AZ
Live Stream: WatchESPN
Betting Line (via Covers.com): Arizona State -6
USC Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: WR Steven Mitchell (Knee)
Questionable: WR Darreus Rogers (Ankle), CB Anthony Brown (Knee), RB D.J. Morgan (Knee), RB Silas Redd (Knee)
Arizona State Injuries (via USA Today)
Out: S Demarious Randell (Groin)
Questionable: LB Alani Latu (Ankle), S Marcus Ball (Shoulder)
Top Storyline: Does USC Have the Offense to Outscore Arizona State?
USC is ranked 11th in the country in points allowed per game, but the Trojans are also ranked 93rd in points per contest.
The 17-14 victory over Utah State in Los Angeles was in large part due to the Trojans' defensive unit, which held Keeton to 4.6 yards per pass attempt while posting four sacks, four quarterback hurries and 10 tackles for loss.
In the meantime, quarterback Cody Kessler didn't do much better, averaging 6.1 yards per pass attempt while completing less than half of his passes. USC also averaged 3.0 yards per carry as a team.
Kessler has had one good outing in four games this season. On Saturday, will he play more like he did against Boston College, or more like he did against Hawaii, Washington State and Utah State?
The answer to that question may ultimately determine the outcome of the game.
Prediction: Arizona State 24, USC 21
This should be a close game, which will test Arizona State's offense against USC's defense.
Arizona State has yet to score fewer than 28 points behind quarterback Taylor Kelly, while USC has yet to allow more than 14 points.
On the other hand, Cody Kessler has yet to show he can consistently play at a decent level for the Trojans. I think the team needs him to show up on Saturday to defeat Arizona State in Tempe. Considering my prediction, it's pretty obvious I don't have much confidence in Kessler at this point.
USC will hold Arizona State to its lowest point total of the season, but it won't be enough in Tempe.
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