USC vs. ASU Final Score Predictions and Expectations


This year’s USC vs. ASU match up feels like plenty of recent games in the series, as both teams enter with something to prove, while armed with visible flaws on both sides of the ball, and solid records that would turn a win into a big catapult in the Pac-12.

To wrap up our previews for the game, we take a stab at some predictions.

Alicia de Artola:

It’s always tough to predict the outcome between two teams who lack a true identity and that’s the case when looking at USC and ASU.

The Sun Devils are missing easily their best player on offense, Taylor Kelly, and Mike Bercovici is still a bit of an unknown quantity. While D.J. Foster looked the part as the danger man in the first three games against questionable opposition, he was shut down by the first decent defense he faced.

Granted, USC’s rush defense hasn’t actually earned the decent tag this season either.

Meanwhile, the Arizona State defense was absolutely exposed by the Bruins. While there’s every chance they adjust and come to play against the Trojans, the performance against UCLA was not exactly an outlier considering they gave up more than 500 yards to Colorado and more than 200 yards rushing in each game against FBS opposition.

For USC the problem has been consistency. They have yet to replicate results for better or for worse. Since demolishing Fresno State, the men of Troy haven’t put together a complete game on offense or defense simultaneously, but they’ve shown flashes on both sides of the ball.

The advantage for the Trojans is the opposition faced. Three of the four teams USC has faced are ranked in the top 20 in total defense this year and the only one that isn’t got beat for 700+ yards and 50+ points. ASU sits much closer to Fresno State in defensive performance than Boston College or Stanford.

With that in mind, I think the Trojan offense is due for a break out game. This a team they can and should put up points on.

Defensively, this definitely looks like the game to break USC’s streak of not allowing a touchdown pass or first quarter points, but the Trojans boast enough individual play-makers to force turnovers and hold the Sun Devils to under 30 points. And that’s all they should need to do to secure a victory.

As for the score, in the words of Bercovici, 42-whatever.

Michael Castillo:

One could say that USC is catching the Sun Devils at the right time, following the demolition job that UCLA put on them last Thursday. But Arizona State has shown an ability to bounce back well following big losses under head coach Todd Graham.

That couldn’t be more evident than last year’s 62-41 knockout punch to Lane Kiffin, which came immediately following Stanford’s (first) comfortable win over ASU. So look for the Devils to come prepared and hungry to make for a highly competitive game.

But I still like the Trojans here, as this sets up for a game in which they can be balanced on offense.

Through four games, USC’s offense has been the most explosive when they have success in all facets to the offense, and ASU’s struggles in both pass defense and rush defense should loom large.

Mike Bercovici can be worrisome for the Trojans and D.J Foster is downright dangerous, but until Arizona State shows that their inexperienced defense can come up big against a quality opponent, I’ll side with Cody Kessler and company to account for the margin of victory.

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SOUND OFF, Southland! What’s your take on the game? Will the Trojans win on Saturday afternoon? Vote in our poll and leave your thoughts below in the comments. Sound off!

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