USC Football: ASU Beats The Trojans If


October 27, 2012; Tempe, AZ, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils quarterback Taylor Kelly (10) looks down field against the UCLA Bruins during the first half at Sun Devil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-US PRESSWIRE

…if they can put the same stresses on the USC defense that Oregon and Arizona did with their spread attacks.  The Sun Devils, another spread offense, will look to spread the Trojans out and force them to defend in space.  This is something that the Trojans have had trouble with the past few weeks, giving up 1,318 and 101 points in the process.

While Mike Norvell’s offense is not as high powered as those deployed by Oregon and Arizona, they’re still dangerous.  They spread the ball around on the ground and through the air.  There are four players that have at least 320 yards rushing, and six players with at least 245 yards receiving.  They don’t have a single dominant player but they make you defend every inch of the field.

Kelly is third in the conference in passing efficiency and with just six interceptions, he’s shown doesn’t turn the ball over much.  If the Trojans’ front doesn’t make him uncomfortable in the pocket and cause him to hurry his throws, this could be another long afternoon for the Trojans.

Monte Kiffin might want to look at running less of the Tampa 2.  So far it hasn’t been successful against the college spread and has kept his defenders on their heels and thinking, instead of reacting and attacking.

If the Trojans don’t go into attack mode and look to dictate the terms by which offenses operate, instead of being dictated to, fans should expect to see more basketball-type scores, and trying to get into a shootout with the Sun Devils might not be a wise move.

They are bringing the conference’s second best defense into the Coliseum, while currently being second in the conference in sacks and the leaders in yards lost.  Defensive tackle Will Sutton is said to be 100 percent after suffering a bone bruise against Oregon, and will certainly boost the Sun Devils in their run defense and give their pass rush some extra life.

Look for the Sun Devils to come after the Trojans’ offense and press the issue.  This is their identity on defense and it has been successful for them for most of the year.  They love to blitz and get after it.

If they can successfully get home, causing Matt Barkley to get unsettled, they could turn the tide of the game in their favor.  Forcing turnovers, sacking Barkley and putting the Trojans in third and long situations, and playing the field position game are all things that the Sun Devils will be looking to do.

This should be an extremely interesting match-up, and you can tune in to watch the Trojans take on the Sun Devils at noon on the Pac-12 Network.