- Associated Press - Thursday, September 24, 2015

No. 19 USC (2-1, 0-1 Pac-12) at Arizona State(2-1, 0-0), 10:30 p.m. (ESPN)

Line: USC by 5 1/2.

Series Record: USC leads 18-12.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Two teams trying to get back on track after disappointing losses. The Trojans won their first two games before losing 41-31 to Stanford last week. The Sun Devils opened the season with a loss to Texas A&M;, but has since beaten Cal Poly and New Mexico.

KEY MATCHUP

Arizona State’s pass defense vs. USC QB Cody Kessler. The Sun Devils have spent the past two games trying to stop the triple option, which coach Todd Graham didn’t exactly enjoy because so few teams run it. Arizona State will face a big switch this week in trying to slow Kessler, who has thrown for 10 touchdowns, averages 307 yards passing per game and has completed 78 percent of his passes.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

USC: WR JuJu Smith-Schuster. The sophomore is USC’s best big-play threat with 434 yards and four touchdowns receiving through the first three games. Containing him will be a key for Arizona State’s defense in its quest to slow the Trojans.

Arizona: QB Mike Bercovici. He had a superb game last year against USC while filling in for injured starter Taylor Kelly, becoming the first player to throw for five touchdowns against the Trojans. One of those was a Hail Mary to Jaelen Strong that gave the Sun Devils a 38-34 victory.

FACTS & FIGURES

USC coach Steve Sarkisian is 0-4 against Arizona State, losing to the Sun Devils three times while coaching at Washington and last season with USC. … The Sun Devils have won three of the past four meetings with USC. … The Trojans dropped 13 spots in the AP top 25 after last week’s loss to Stanford…. Arizona State’s D.J. Foster has a reception in 43 straight games, the longest active streak in FBS.

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