Impact: ASU football gets spooked by the USC Trojans

The Sun Devils seemed to have everything in place for another ranked win, but USC wasn't having it

Just a few days before the spookiest holiday of the year, ASU football seemed particularly frightened when the No. 17 USC Trojans came to town and routed the Sun Devils 48-17

ASU was two games removed from a season-changing victory against a top-five team in the country. 

It seemed like the Sun Devils were destined for the Pac-12 South crown, especially after USC was stomped by the No. 5 Notre Dame Fighting Irish team. 

Everything that favored the Sun Devils in previous games failed them against the Trojans.

ASU was committing around three penalties a game, which was among the fewest in the FBS. Against the Trojans ASU, they were penalized 10 times, for 99 yards. 

The revamped defense that held opponents to a combined 17 points and no passing touchdowns the last two games never showed up.

USC’s redshirt sophomore quarterback Sam Darnold, who has been knocked for throwing 10 interceptions this season, tossed three touchdowns and threw for 266 yards.

The promising ASU secondary struggled mightily to tackle in the open field.

As a defensive performance it ranks among one of ASU’s worst this season as the Trojans accumulated 607 total offensive yards.

Offensively, ASU was just as absent. 

Redshirt junior quarterback Manny Wilkins had a decent game on paper as he threw for 256 yards and a touchdown. However, there were a handful of plays where Wilkins either overthrew his receiver, or never even attempted to make the throw.

Contributing to the lack of offensive rhythm was the fact Wilkins was sacked six times.

As an entire team the Sun Devils will need to regroup before next Saturday’s contest against the Colorado Buffaloes (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12). 

Governors get blow out in Saturday’s election 

So far this season the college football world has seen point totals in the 50s and 60s, but the No. 15 UCF Knights (7-0, 4-0) dropped 73 in their win over the Austin Peay Governors (5-4, 2-3).

The Knights had a whopping 45 points at halftime. 

Probably the craziest number of the entire game was UCF only racking up 489 total offensive yards. 

The 489 yards are over 100 less than the Trojans had against the Sun Devils.

On a day where defense was hard to come by in college football, the Governors didn’t do themselves any favors allowing the Knights to throw for three touchdowns, and run for five. 

However, it wasn’t all bad for the Governors – they held the Knights to under 28 minutes of time of possession. 

Oh wait, that’s right, the Knights still scored 73 points.

Cyclones cause more chaos in the top five

It was just a few weeks ago that the No. 14 Iowa State Cyclones (6-2, 4-1) had taken down the No. 3 team in the country.

This week the Cyclones knocked off the former No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs (7-1, 4-1) 14-7.

Nonetheless, this was one of the few games featuring defenses doing their job.

Neither team managed to accumulate more than 17 first downs. Both squads fell short when it came down to keeping possession. 

The Horned Frogs and the Cyclones combined for four turnovers and 15 penalties. 

Despite another top-five win for Iowa State, the Cyclones remain outside of the top 10, and rightfully so.

If you look at the Iowa State schedule, you will see that they have only played two teams that are still ranked – those were huge wins for the program – but it’s just not enough.

However, the Cyclones have a date with the No. 11 Oklahoma State Cowboys (7-1, 4-1) on Nov. 11. Maybe that will be the game that pushes Iowa State into the top 10. 

Stay Tuned

The Sun Devils will face the Colorado Buffaloes (5-4, 2-4 Pac-12) on Saturday, Nov. 4 at 6:00 p.m. in Tempe. 


Reach the reporter at atotri@asu.edu or follow @Anthony_Totri on Twitter.   

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