The Arizona State Sun Devils have a big football game against the No. 23 USC Trojans looming on Saturday, one that could provide us with some insight into the hierarchy of teams in the Pac-12 South. The Sun Devils, who are coming off of a disappointing road loss to Illinois last week, will look to rebound with a big win.
ASU hasn't beaten USC since the turn of the millennium, going winless against the Trojans since 1999. The last few encounters between the two teams, though, have been close. Last year, the Sun Devils came within minutes of victory until kicker Thomas Webber missed a 41-yard field goal with 1:34 left in the game to seal a one-point ASU loss.
According to a report by FS Arizona, the Sun Devils are optimistic about the match-up. During a press conference, quarterback Brock Osweiler stated that last week's game was marked by "mental errors," and he vows that "those mistakes won't happen again."
Both Osweiler and coach Dennis Erickson stressed multiple times that last week's game will not hinder the Sun Devils in their quest for a Pac-12 South division title. This week's game is far more important and will indeed go a lot further in determining the team's fortunes in the conference.
Add it all up and you have one determined Sun Devils squad that wants nothing more than to quiet the critics following the Illinois game. Osweiler and Erickson have stated that the team's penalty issues and inconsistency will be resolved come Saturday, but the duo also said the same thing last week. ASU will need to seriously address those concerns before Saturday's game if they want to get a statement win over USC and possibly move back into the AP Top 25.