USC vs. ASU: Gameday Preview, Injuries, Lineups, and Links


USC vs. Arizona State

LA Memorial Coliseum | Los Angeles, Calif.4:30 PM Pacific | FOXAll-time Series: USC leads 18-11Last meeting: USC 41, Arizona State 62 in 2013, at Tempe

Revenge and redemption are on the mind this game day as the USC Trojans set to face off against the Arizona State Sun Devils at the Coliseum.

ASU may feel right at home in the upper-90 degree heat expected for kick off, while the Trojans will hope their opponents are decidedly less comfortable than they were last year at Sun Devil Stadium when they dropped 62 points in a desert rout.

Circumstances have change considerably for both teams since that game however.

USC has a new head coach, new offense and a host of new play-makers on defense to contend with the offensive onslaught.

Arizona State, on the other hand, are coming off a devastating loss to UCLA and will face the men of Troy without Taylor Kelly.

The outcome tonight will have huge implications towards the Pac-12 south. Will the Sun Devils re-enter the race for the title or will the Trojans spoil their pursuit and retain control of their own destiny?


In the latest installment of Reign of Troy Radio, editors Alicia de Artola and Michael Castillo preview the game against Arizona State. We discuss the question of whether or not style points matter, the Sun Devils’ ponderous decision to emphasize the pass over the run versus UCLA, USC’s best attack plan when facing a porous ASU defense and back up QB Mike Bercovici’s trash talk.

Gameday Links:

Injury Report:

  • Out for the season: Kenny Bigelow (knee), Jalen Cope-Fitzpatrick (academics), Jabari Ruffin (knee), Jordan Austin (hip), Chris Willson (foot), Christian Tober (collarbone)
  • Out: Josh Shaw (suspended), Jordan Simmons (knee), Ajene Harris (hamstring)
  • Questionable: Lamar Dawson (elbow), Tre Madden (toe)

Bookmark our Injury Report and News Ticker to stay up to date on USC injury news.

When Arizona State has the ball…

The Sun Devils may be without their starting quarterback, but they proved against UCLA that they can still do damage on offense. The question is how much of that will translate to points on the board.

Mike Bercovici threw the ball 69 times, but ASU was playing from behind last week and given USC’s troubles stopping the run this season, expect to see more balance on offense from the Sun Devils.

D.J. Foster was the main man in the first three games of 2014. As an explosive threat between the tackles and in the passing game, it’ll be a surprise if he doesn’t seen an increase in touches from last weeks’ nine rush, five catch outing.

At receiver Jaelen Strong will look to test the resolve of the Trojan secondary as they work to keep their unbeaten on touchdown passes mark alive.

ASU has allowed just five sacks this season, which is the best in the conference, while USC sits second to last having created just six sacks. This probably isn’t the game we’ll see the Trojans generate a ton of pressure on the quarterback.

Click here for an extensive breakdown of how the ASU offense matches up with the USC defense.

Projected Starting Lineups

Arizona State Offense:WR #21 Jaelen StrongWR #81 Gary ChambersWR #6 Cameron SmithLT #74 Jamil DouglasLG #55 Christian WestermanC #50 Nick KellyRG #73 Vi TeofiloRT #54 Tyler SulkaTE #12 De’Marieya Nelson OR #83 Kody KohlQB #2 Mike BercoviciTB #8 D.J. FosterRB #5 Deantre Lewis OR #9 Kalen Ballage

USC Defense:DT #90 Claude Pelon OR #52 Delvon SimmonsNT #99 Antwaun WoodsDE #94 Leonard WilliamsRE #58 J.R. TavaiSOLB #47 Scott Felix / #21 Su’a CravensMILB #10 Hayes PullardWILB #56 Anthony SaraoCB #13 Kevon SeymourFS #27 Gerald Bowman OR #22 Leon McQuay IIISS #21 Su’a CravensCB #4 Chris Hawkins

When USC has the ball…

The Trojans have faced some strong defenses over the past three games but Arizona State’s is a unit still recovering from the whooping they received from Brett Hundley and the Bruins.

The Sun Devils don’t have much to boast about on the defensive side of the ball this season so don’t be surprised if Cody Kessler and company find it just a little bit easier to set up a rhythm in tonight’s game.

Facing the worst rushing defense in the Pac-12, the Trojans should try to get Buck Allen and Justin Davis going early.

The Sun Devils have had trouble with missed tackles this season, so watch out for USC’s athletes like JuJu Smith and Nelson Agholor when they get into space.

In the trenches, ASU has not been able to recreate their exception pass rush from last year without Will Sutton leading the defensive line. Unless the Trojan offensive line misses assignments en masse as they did against Boston College, Kessler’s jersey should stay relatively clean.

Click here for a more in-depth look at how the USC offense stacks up with the Arizona State defense.

Projected Starting Lineups

USC Offense:WR #9 JuJu SmithWR #15 Nelson AgholorTE #82 Randall TelferRT #73 Zach BannerRG #51 Damien Mama OR #60 Viane TalamaivaoC #75 Max TuerkLG #50 Toa LobendahnLT #72 Chad WheelerWR #8 George FarmerQB #6 Cody KesslerFB #31 Soma VainukuTB #37 Javorius Allen

Arizona State Defense:NT #92 Jaxon HoodTIGER #90 Tashon Smallwood OR #94 Demetrius CherryDE #1 Marcus HardisonDEVIL #12 De’Marieya Nelson OR #97 Edmond Boateng OR #32 Antonio LonginoSPUR #28 Viliami MoeakiolaSLB #Salamo FisoWLB #4 DJ CalhounCB #8 Lloyd CarringtonSS #3 Damarious RandallFS #38 Jordan SimoneCB #13 Armand Perry OR Kweichi Brown