ASU heavy underdog against USC - East Valley Tribune: News

ASU heavy underdog against USC

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Posted: Thursday, November 5, 2009 12:02 am | Updated: 2:59 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

There aren’t many people giving Arizona State a chance to beat the mighty Trojans this week. While USC already has two losses in conference play — including a blowout defeat at Oregon last week — the talent discrepancy between the two teams is wide.

The Sun Devils have dropped down to .500 on the season after two straight losses, and no one is giving them a chance in this game or next week in Autzen Stadium against Oregon. The chance at a bowl game slips further away each week. Even if Arizona State doesn’t win this game, it needs to show enough resolve for fans to believe the Sun Devils can win their final two games against UCLA and Arizona and salvage a 6-6 season. Danny Sullivan is expected to start at quarterback, but fleet-footed backup Samson Szakacsy showed off his skill set on a 3-yard play-action touchdown pass to Jovon Williams last week, and he could see more playing time. ASU will be without wide receiver T.J. Simpson (ankle) and defensive tackle Corey Adams (back) for this game and the rest of the season, as both had surgery following injuries in last week’s game against California. 

No. 12 USC at Arizona State

When: 6 p.m. Saturday        Where: Sun Devil Stadium   TV/Radio: ABC/KTAR (620 AM)       Records: Arizona State 4-4, 2-3 Pac-10; USC 6-2, 3-2 Pac-10

Three things to watch

The ASU secondary: Changes seem to be coming, as cornerback Deveron Carr is taking first-team repetitions from Pierre Singfield, and safety Clint Floyd is attempting to overtake Jarrell Holman. The defensive backs have been the weak link for the Sun Devils’ defense, giving up big pass plays at inopportune times. Keep an eye on the playing time of these four players.

Cameron Marshall: The true freshman running back got his opportunity last week after Dimitri Nance got hurt and Ryan Bass fumbled. Marshall looked good, rushing for 71 yards on 16 carries and scoring a touchdown. The amount of work Nance could shoulder this week is unknown, but Marshall’s play seems to have merited more carries. USC’s rushing defense has not been extraordinary this season, giving up 950 yards and 3.4 yards per carry, fifth in the Pac-10.

Matt Barkley: He was the top-rated quarterback in the country coming out of high school last season and showed enough in fall camp for USC coach Pete Carroll to name him the starter this season as a true freshman. Barkley has played well thus far, completing 59 percent of his passes and averaging nearly 250 yards per game with nine passing touchdowns. He is still a freshman, though, so if ASU can get some pressure, it could lead to mistakes.

Lineups

Arizona State offense

WR — Gerell Robinson

LT  — Shawn Lauvao

LG — Jon Hargis

C — Garth Gerhart

RG — Brenton Good

RT  —  Tom Njunge

TE  —  Dan Knapp

WR — Kyle Williams

QB — Danny Sullivan

RB — Dimitri Nance

WR — Chris McGaha

Arizona State defense

DE — James Brooks

DT — Lawrence Guy

DT — Saia Falahola

DE — Dexter Davis

OLB — Travis Goethel

MLB — Vontaze Burfict

OLB — Mike Nixon

CB — Terell Carr

FS — Clint Floyd

SS — Ryan McFoy

CB — Deveon Carr

USC offense

WR — Ronald Johnson

LT — Charles Brown

LG — Jeff Byers

C — Kris O’Dowd

RG — Alex Parsons

RT — Tyron Smith

TE — Anthony McCoy

QB — Matt Barkley

RB — Joe McKnight

FB — Stanley Havili

WR — Damian Williams

USC defense

DE — Wes Horton

NG — Christian Tupou

DT — Jurrell Casey

DE — Everson Griffin

OLB — Michael Morgan

MLB — Chris Galippo

OLB — Malcolm Smith

CB — Kevin Thomas

FS — Taylor Mays

SS — Will Harris

RC — Josh Pinkard

ASU schedule

Date    Opponent    Location    Time

9/5    Arizona State 50, Idaho State 3

9/19    Arizona State 38, Louisiana-Monroe 14

9/26    Georgia 20, Arizona State 17

10/3    Oregon State 28, Arizona State 17

10/10    Arizona State 27, Washington State 14

10/17    Arizona State 24, Washington 17

10/24    Stanford 33, Arizona State 14

10/31    California 23, Arizona State 21

11/07    USC    Sun Devil Stadium    6 p.m.

11/14    Oregon    Autzen Stadium (Eugene, Ore.)    TBA

11/21    UCLA    Rose Bowl (Pasadena, Calif.)    TBA

11/28    Arizona    Sun Devil Stadium    TBA

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