Saturday, November 7, 2020, United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, noon ET
Sun Devils at Trojans Betting Preview: Sun Devils (+10.5), Trojans (-10.5)
Arizona State Sun Devils Betting Preview
Unranked Arizona State was picked to finish second in the Pac-12 South Division behind the division favorite Trojans, and with only six games instead of the usual nine conference affairs Sun Devils coach Herm Edwards doesn’t see a lot of room for error when his team opens at USC.
“Every win you get,” he said, “you feel like you’re in the race.”
New faces abound for both teams, including both coordinators for the Sun Devils. Arizona State brought in offensive coordinator Zak Hill from Boise State to replace the fired Rob Likens and on defense Edwards brought in longtime NFL coach Marvin Lewis and promoted Antonio Pierce to co-defensive coordinators to replace Danny Gonzales.
Gonzales left for the head coaching vacancy at New Mexico. Gonzales ran a 3-3-5 scheme as his base defense. Lewis and Pierce are shifting to a 4-3 base.
Linebackers Darien Butler and Merlin Robertson are entering their third year as starers for the Sun Devils. Butler had a team-high 90 tackles last year. Robertson recorded 72.
On offense, the Sun Devils lost wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk and running back Eno Benjamin, but dual-threat quarterback Jayden Daniels returns for his sophomore season. Daniels was impressive as a freshman in throwing 17 touchdowns passes with just two interceptions.
USC Trojans Betting Preview
Kedon Slovis was thrown unexpectedly into the starting role at quarterback last year when JT Daniels suffered a knee injury and ended up completing 71.9 percent of his passes for 291.8 yards a game with 30 touchdowns against nine interceptions.
He will have his Nos. 2 and 3 receivers back in Amon-Ra St. Brown (77 catches, 1,024 yards) and Tyler Vaughns (74-912) back as targets. Highly touted recruit Bru McCoy also joins the fold after redshirting in 2019, the result of a tumultuous recruiting process.
USC hopes the success it enjoyed shaking up its offense under coordinator Graham Harrell a season ago — improving its per-game scoring output by more than a touchdown — will translate with a new defensive coordinator.
Todd Orlando replaced Clancy Pendergast in January. Pendergast’s defense allowed an average of more than 29 points a game in 2019, failing to adjust to the pace-of-play introduced with a new offense. Orlando spent the previous five years at Houston and Texas, overseeing defenses paired with quick-strike offenses.
Leading tackler John Houston Jr. is gone but safeties Talanoa Hufanga (No. 2 with 90 stops) and Isaiah Pola-Mao (73) and linebackers Kana’l Mauga (61) and Palaie Gadteote IV (58 in just eight games) return.
Sun Devils at Trojans Betting Pick for November 7, 2020
It seems to be feast or famine for the teams in this series in recent years. The Trojans have won four of the last five meetings with the Sun Devils but before that the Sun Devils had won won three of four. The last time the two teams met in the Coliseum the Sun Devils won 38-35 to snap USC’s home winning streak at 19 games.
Sun Devils at Trojans Betting Pick:
Trojans 38, Sun Devils 28
Sun Devils at Trojans Best Bet for November 7, 2020
The Trojans won last year’s meeting in Tempe 31-26, hanging on after building a 28-7 first-quarter lead. Slovis threw for four touchdowns that game on his way to 30 for his freshman season. Jayden Daniels was injured and did not play for the Sun Devils.
Sun Devils at Trojans Best Bet: OVER 58.5