USC is looking to claim its first conference win of the season on Saturday against the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Trojans are hoping to amend their offensive woes after shaky performances in the weeks prior. Quarterback Cody Kessler will have the daunting task of facing the Sun Devil defense. ASU prides itself on its aggressive play style and led the nation in tackles for loss last season (avg. 9.00 TFL per game).
Several 2012 defensive standouts return for the Sun Devils. However despite those familiar faces, ASU has struggled against defending the run game. In addition, ASU has accumulated only three sacks this season.
Senior defensive tackle Will Sutton is fresh off a 13-sack season in 2012 and has already racked up nine tackles thus far in 2013. Though Sutton has yet to have a sack this season, he is most definitely not a player that the Trojans should overlook.
Junior nose tackle Jaxon Hood is doubtful for Saturday’s contest against the Trojans, causing some shake ups for the ASU defensive line. Luckily for the Sun Devils, junior defensive end – linebacker hybrid Carl Bradford is ready to continue his success from 2012. Against Wisconsin, Bradford had four tackles (three unassisted). In the Sun Devils clash against Stanford last week, Bradford had tackles (six unassisted) and one sack. Steffon Martin, Anthony Jones and Chris Young round out the fierce linebacker foursome.
The ASU secondary is cause for concern for USC. The Sun Devils are ranked 17th nationally in pass defense. Cornerback Osahon Irabor has started 36 consecutive games and has racked up 17 tackles and 1 sack during the Sun Devils’ first slate of games.
Though the ASU defense has been be counterproductive during the 2013 season, the Sun Devils have plenty of ammo in their arsenal, especially on their home turf.