Arizona State Week
A few weeks ago I would have said give the points and take ASU. But today both teams are very different looking teams. Well at least ASU is very different. ASU doesn't look like the anointed champs of the Southern Division. The team looks vulnerable but they will be playing at home which oddly this Trojan team seems to prefer over the LA Coliseum. Go figure. The media had it wrong again but is it their fault that every pre-season we see teams that you shake your head at when they appear in the lofty 25 only to disappoint fairly early in the campaign?
Both ASU and USC are the champions of 2021 over-hyped expectations. The promise of dominating the South and challenging Oregon/Washington for the PAC-12 Championship looks more like it will be Oregon vs Utah but stay tuned. These two teams were not immune to the over-hyped PAC-12 by a long stretch either.
Looking at the ESPN Matchup review you can see that Slovis has a slight edge on Daniels. USC has the edge on the running game and with Keontay Ingram surging and finding his rhythm and getting more carries this could be the piece that USC puts it all together on with respect to the offense. The big QUESTION is the obvious one. Drake London ended his record breaking season with a severe angle injury versus Arizona. Horrible accident and one that will forever be that "What could have been" comment about this amazing Warriors 2021 season. Now the offense must find that new Drake London and right now that person hasn't really shown up but then again who in CFB measures up to that standard regardless.
The Tale Of The Tape
ESPN setting the initial spread at ASU 8.5 point favorites seems about right for this game. But when you have teams that are sliding sideways and backwards at times they should be accelerating this late in a season you can throw out everything.
Keys to USC beating ASU November 6th:
Pressure Defense all 4 quarters
Ingram must be given enough touches early to build on his momentum
Slovis (assuming QB-1) needs to leave the pocket early and buy time
Receivers have to step up and stay committed to making those impossible catches
Stop the lack of concentration and drive killing penalties as well as on defense stop the drive extending mistakes. It's all mental.