USC football vs. ASU Preview: How the Trojans matchup with the Sun Devils

USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
USC football quarterback Kedon Slovis. (Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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USC football head coach Clay Helton.
USC football head coach Clay Helton. /

When USC football special teams is on the field…

Short and sweet here: Both teams feature field goal kickers that are around 85 percent successful on their field goal attempts. USC’s Chase McGrath (82%) has a longer range while Christian Zendejas (85%) was more accurate in 2019 on 10 more attempts.

At punter, ASU has a clear edge with Michael Turk averaging 46 yards a punt while pinning opponents inside the 20-yard line 54.2 percent of the time in 2019. Meanwhile, Ben Griffiths averaged 41 yards per punt and left opponents inside the 20 42 percent of the time.

The biggest factor on special teams is actually USC’s new coordinator Sean Snyder. After N’Keal Harry housed a 92-yard punt return to drive a nail in USC’s coffin in 2018, and Brandon Aiyuk brought a kickoff back 97-yards to set up an ASU touchdown against the Trojans last season, look for the LACK of a big return this season due to the vast improvement Snyder can bring over former special teams coordinator John Baxter.

Prediction for USC football vs. ASU

While this game is billed as the decider of the Pac-12 South, it will not be USC’s toughest game this season. ASU’s defense returns impressive talent but the only possible thing slowing this USC offense on Saturday is the forecasted rain.

Regardless, Slovis will once again dismantle the ASU secondary with St. Brown and London leading the way as receivers, and the Trojans will receive better rushing production from Stephen Carr, Markese Stepp and Vavae Malepeai over Keenan Christon last season.

On the flipside, Jayden Daniels is an impressive, young quarterback, but he can’t do it alone. The new-look USC defense will either force him into as many interceptions as he had all last season or he will protect the ball to a fault and fail to put the requisite touchdowns up to beat the Trojans.

USC 34, ASU 26

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