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ASU Football: First Look at USC

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Weird team

USC Trojans defeats the Arizona Wildcats 41-34 during a NCAA football game at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles. Photo by Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Another week, another Arizona State opponent that has an interim coach. After USC lost to Stanford back in Week 2, the Trojans let go of head coach Clay Helton. Meanwhile, Donte Williams replaced him, and USC (4-4) are mediocre as ever.

Offensive coordinator Graham Harrell still has the offensive going as USC gained 400 yards in every single game this season. However, they’re still only 45th in the nation in points scored (31.2). The offense has a handful of question marks leading into Saturday.

What does the Trojan passing attack look like?

USC lost star wide receiver Drake London for the season after he suffered an ankle fracture in the win over Arizona. London was having a great season, and honestly a potential Biletnikoff Award winning season.

London finished his season having 88 receptions for 1084 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. The next two closest wide receivers in receptions are Tahj Washington (32 receptions) and Gary Bryant Jr. (24).

Kedon Slovis hasn’t lived up to the hype since his freshman year. He’s had good moments this year, but also has a three-inception day in a loss to Oregon State. He played well against the Wildcats but freshman Jaxson Dart split time with him.

Dart, who came in for an injured Slovis and impressed versus Washington State returned from his own injury last week, has thrown for 500 yards and six touchdowns in 42 attempts this season.

Williams gave no insight to how the quarterbacks will be used in his weekly press conference. How will USC’s passing attack look? Not sure anyone knows.

Boom or bust defense

It may be obvious, but the USC defense does well in wins and poorly in losses. Let’s look at the losses; 42 points to Stanford (season-high for the Cardinal), 45 to Oregon State, 42 to Utah, 31 to Notre Dame and despite beating winless Arizona, USC allowed 34 points to the Wildcats. Arizona hadn’t scored 20 points in a game before last week.

Drake Jackson is a force and likely a future first rounder. Korey Foreman, a former top overall recruit has flashed on the defensive line. There’s talent but again like most USC things, the coaching hasn’t always been there.

It could be a get-right game for the Arizona State offense. It might not be. Arizona State offense seems to be just as inconsistent and with talent like the USC defense. A true match made in heaven.