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ASU vs USC: Sun Devils' defense needs to pressure Matt Barkley

SB Nation's ASU and USC bloggers get together to preview Saturday's noon showdown as the Sun Devils look to hand USC its fourth loss of the season.

Doug Pensinger

The Arizona St. Sun Devils head to Los Angeles on Saturday where they will face a USC Trojans team that is looking to bounce back from a loss to Oregon. The Sun Devils are trying to get themselves back on track after losing their last three games.

The Trojans will be looking for a measure of revenge after ASU beat them a year ago in Tempe.

USC is 6-3 on the season and 4-3 in conference, putting them just behind UCLA in the Pac-12 South standings. ASU is close behind at 5-4 overall and 3-3 in the Pac-12.

In preparation for the crucial Pac-12 South matchup, SB Nation's ASU blog, House of Sparky, spoke with USC blog Conquest Chronicles about topics ranging from why the Trojans have underperformed to what the Sun Devils need to do to slow down Heisman candidate Marqise Lee.

When asked about how the ASU defense should attempt to slow down a USC offense that averages 36 points per game, Conquest Chronicles wrote:

Put lots of pressure on [Matt] Barkley and force him to move around in the pocket, and get the ball out earlier than he'd like. If you think your offense is that much better, you can also take the Oregon route and just try to outscore them, too. But for the Sun Devils, the likelihood is applying pressure on the senior signal caller and flustering him just enough to where he will make a mistake eventually.

The game is scheduled to kick off at noon PT from the Coliseum in Los Angeles. Pac-12 Networks will televise the game.