Arizona State Sun Devils vs. USC Trojans Preview and Pick

Arizona State Sun Devils +26.5 (2-3) 1-3 ATS at #8 USC Trojans -26.5 (3-1) 3-1 ATS Saturday October 11 Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum (92,000) Los Angeles, California 3:30 p.m. EST

By Wilson of

The Arizona State Sun Devils have fallen on hard times during the past month as they have lost their last three games in row. Sun Devils head coach Dennis Erickson, who is known for turning college football programs around, must be losing sleep trying to find answers for his teams recent spiral into the below five-hundred club.

I still have the winning ticket from the Las Vegas Hilton Sports Book; it was UNLV + 23.5. I figured the Sun Devils would win but I liked the points given to UNLV. Arizona State lost that game in overtime and has not recovered since.

The Sun Devils offense has been flat and non-productive. In their last game the Sun Devils barely rushed for 50 yards, and only put up 165 yards in the air. QB Rudy Carpenter was 20-of-35 with one TD and two interceptions. The collapse of the rushing game coupled with the inconsistent passing has not left Arizona State with too many more options besides simply losing games. The PAC-10 is a mixed bag of nuts this year as no team appears to be a shoe-in for a conference title. However, the way ASU is playing they might as well pack up their gear and combine teams with the Washington State Cougars! Maybe theyll put more than 10 points on the board. I know; its always easier when youre not the guy suiting up and taking the field. Thats why Im a writer.

The Sun Devils are averaging 23 points per game but are also giving up 20.8 to their opponents. If they plan on challenging the Trojans this weekend they will need to sharpen up on defense. Turnovers also kill the Sun Devils, as Carpenter threw two picks last week, and hes had trouble executing the offense.

The Trojans on the other hand have apparently moved on after their devastating loss at Oregon State a couple weeks back. Mark Sanchez picked the Oregon Ducks apart last week as the Trojans thrashed the Ducks 44-10. Sanchez was 19-of-28 for 332 yards and three TDs. USC is averaging 38 points per game while only giving up 11.8 to their opponents. Against Oregon, the Trojans gained 598 total yards; 443 yards passing and 155 on the ground. Wow! Nice D!

USC head coach Pete Carroll has done a great job of refocusing his group after what could have been a season crushing blow at Oregon State. Carroll is always first class as he gave OSU credit for their play, and kept his cool with the press. Now the Trojans definitely seem to have their eye on the PAC-10 conference title with perhaps much more conviction than ever.

The Trojans beat ASU 44-24 in their contest last season. This year could be worse for the Sun Devils as they appear to be searching for answers on both sides of the football. If Dennis Erickson can find a way to motivate, get his guys healthy, and somehow slow down the Trojans this Saturday then anything is possible, I guess.

The Sun Devils will need an angel to help them win this weekend. If that angel is Rudy Carpenter then so be it, but ASU may just need heaven to shut down and head to their sidelines to make sure things are fair!

Wilsons Pick: USC is back to their old winning ways. I like the Trojans to cover all 26.5!