ASU football taking cues from No. 13 USC's upset of No. 6 Washington

The performance of their divisional rival against the Huskies could influence the Sun Devils

How do you beat the No. 6 team in the country? No. 13 USC showed the Pac-12 – and the rest of the country – one way, as they shocked then-No. 4 Washington in Seattle, ending its 12-game winning streak. 

Even after ASU football was beaten decisively by USC in Los Angeles nearly two months ago, the Trojans (7-3, 6-2 Pac-12) didn't exactly seem like a team with a blueprint worth modeling, slumping to a 2-3 start. Since then, USC has rattled off six straight wins to give the Trojans an outside shot at a Pac-12 South title and Rose Bowl berth.  

It would be difficult to characterize USC's 26-13 win over Washington as anything but impressive. Cornerback Adoree' Jackson, whose name has come up quite often, and for good reason, was cited by redshirt sophomore safety Armand Perry as an exemplar of USC's collectively dominant defensive effort against the third-most efficient offense in the country. 

"They killed the run," Perry said of USC's defensive front. "With a guy like (Washington junior wide receiver John Ross) he's going to make his plays, but you've got to make yours too. That's what Adoree' Jackson did. I feel like John Ross got the better of him as a man, but Adoree' also came up big for his team." 

Jackson had two interceptions in the game, and the two picks was a single-game season-high for Washington sophomore quarterback Jake Browning, whose play has placed him among the ranks of the best quarterbacks in the country thus far. The Heisman Trophy candidate also had his lowest completion percentage of the year (47.2) and threw a season-high 36 pass attempts, well above his average of 26 attempts per game. 

Ross is one of the most explosive players in the Pac-12, with the potential to make the defense pay every time he touches the ball. 

Though the Huskies (9-1, 6-1 Pac-12) are likely well-acquainted with their own home turf and weather conditions, redshirt senior cornerback De'Chavon "Gump" Hayes said the rain that is likely to follow them to the Pacific Northwest may be ideal conditions for defensive backs with creating turnovers on their minds. 

"When it's raining like that, not too many guys are going to wear gloves," Hayes said. "It's easier to get the ball out of their hands." 

On the other side, the Washington secondary is no less formidable than its array of skilled receivers and running backs. But redshirt senior wide receiver Tim White said that going up against Jackson would help prepare him for Washington's defensive backs.

Offensive coordinator Chip Lindsey agreed, and praised the skills of the Washington secondary. 

"I hope so," Lindsey said. "Adoree's a great player. No question, when you compete against good players, it helps you. I think they're a little different from their style of play, those corners, but they're really good players, they're long physical guys." 


Reach the reporter at smodrich@asu.edu or follow @StefanJModrich on Twitter.

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