*USC begins the final month of the regular season when it travels to South Division foe Arizona State. The contest will be televised under the lights on ESPN.
*It’s the start of a 2-game road trip for the Trojans, the longest journey for USC in 2021.
*USC, needing 2 more wins to get bowl eligible, will be without one of the nation’s premier players the rest of 2021 as All-American candidate and leading Biletnikoff Award nominee Drake London broke his ankle while catching a TD against Arizona this past weekend. He was on pace to set Troy’s season receptions and receiving yardage records (he has 88 catches for 1,084 yards). So interim head coach Donte Williams will have to rely on others in the Trojan receiving corps--including productive WRs Tahj Washington and Gary Bryant Jr.--to step up. USC’s run game--behind TB Keaontay Ingram, who has back-to-back 100-yard rushing outings, including a career-best 204 yards versus Arizona--has become more dominant recently. QB Kedon Slovis remains a steady force while leading the offense (he is on pace to set the school career mark for best completion percentage), while true freshman QB Jaxson Dart has returned from injury and played well in his opportunities against UA (he threw 2 TDs). The Trojan defense is looking to tighten up after allowing 450-plus total yards to Arizona. ILB Kana’i Mauga and S Chase Williams top USC in tackles, while OLB Drake Jackson and DL Tuli Tuipulotu have been frequently in the opponents’ backfield.
*Sun Devil Stadium will be a familiar sight for the 7 Trojans (including Slovis and Pola-Mao) who grew up near the campus, while USC’s cardinal-and-gold uniforms will be familiar to DB Jack Jones, a former Trojan who now suits up for ASU.
*Head coach Herm Edwards’ Arizona State team remains in contention for the Pac-12 South title despite its loss Saturday at home to Washington State. The ASU offense is directed by multi-threat QB Jayden Daniels), who is 20th nationally in completion percentage, RB Rachaad White is within 100 yards of joining Daniels as a career 1,000-yard rusher and also is among the team leaders in receptions, along with WRs Ricky Pearsall and LV Bunkley-Shelton. C Dohnovan West made the 2020 All-Pac-12 first team. ASU’s defense ranks high in the NCAA Top 25 in interceptions, tackles for loss and pass efficiency defense. LB Darien Butler tops ASU in tackles and is 13th in the nation in interceptions, while LB Kyle Soelle also has made an impact.
*USC’s men’s and women’s swim teams and women’s tennis squad also will be in action at ASU Saturday.