Arizona State-USC Preview Capsule
By The Associated Press
(AP) -- No. 21 USC (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) vs. Arizona State (5-4, 3-3), 3 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks)
Line: USC by 9.
Series Record: USC leads 18-10.
WHAT'S AT STAKE
USC must snap its two-game skid before even thinking about running the table on its remaining schedule and possibly returning to a major bowl, while Arizona State is looking to end yet another late-season swoon after three straight defeats.
Arizona State QB Taylor Kelly vs. USC CBs Nickell Robey and Josh Shaw. The Trojans have yielded 1,318 yards in their last two games, repeatedly giving up big plays with fundamental struggles. Kelly has been efficient and occasionally prolific as a first-year starter, throwing 20 TD passes against just six interceptions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Arizona State.: DT Will Sutton. The junior has grown into a serious force on the line, recording 15 tackles for loss and 9 1/2 sacks while playing a big role in stopping both the run and the pass. USC's young offensive line has had mixed success against top tackles this year.
USC: WR Marqise Lee. He has 28 receptions for 502 yards and four TDs in the last two games, but Arizona State has the Pac-12's most effective pass defense. USC has started campaigning for Lee as a Heisman Trophy candidate with just three weeks left in the regular season.
FACTS & FIGURES
USC has won 11 of the schools' last 12 meetings, but the Sun Devils won last season's game in Tempe, 43-22. ... USC QB Matt Barkley needs just 15 yards passing to set the conference career record. He already leads in passing TDs, total offense and completions. ... Arizona State has lost six straight in the Coliseum since 1999. ... The Sun Devils have faced ranked opponents in three of their last four games. The fourth was UCLA, which has jumped up to No. 17 since beating Arizona State. ... Another way to measure the Trojans' skid: USC has its earliest kickoff time at the Coliseum since 1998.
Updated November 8, 2012