Football | October 31, 2021
* USC begins the final month of the regular season when it travels to Arizona State’s Southern Division. The contest will be televised under the lights of ESPN.
* This is the start of a 2-game road trip for the Trojans, the longest trip for USC in 2021.
* USC, who need 2 more wins to be bowl eligible, will be without one of the best players in the country for the remainder of 2021 as All-American contenders and main Biletnikoff Award nominees Drake London broke his ankle capturing a touchdown against Arizona last weekend. He was close to establishing Troy’s season receptions and receiving yardage records (he had 88 catches for 1,084 yards). So interim head coach Donte Williams will have to rely on other members of the Trojans receiving corps, including productive WRs Tahj Washington and Gary Bryant Jr. – to ramp up. The USC Racing Game – Behind TB Keaontay Ingram, who has contested 100 consecutive rushing yards – including a career-best 204 yards against Arizona – has become more dominant recently. QB Kedon Slovis remains a steadfast force while leading the offensive (he’s poised to establish the school career mark for best completion percentage), while the real freshman QB Jaxson dart came back from injury and played well in his opportunities against UA (he threw 2 TDs). The Trojan defense are looking to tighten up after allowing Arizona more than 450 total yards. HE B Kana’i Mauga and S Chase williams lead USC in tackles, while OLB Drake jackson and DL Tuli tuipulotu have often been in the backfield of opponents.
* The Sun Devil Stadium will be a familiar sight for the 7 Trojans (including Slovis and Pola-Mao) who grew up near campus, while the cardinal and golden uniforms of USC will be familiar to DB Jack Jones, a old Trojan horse now suitable for ASU.
* Head coach Herm Edwards’ Arizona State team remain in contention for the Pac-12 South title despite losing Saturday at home to Washington State. The ASU offensive is led by multi-threat QB Jayden Daniels), who is 20th nationally in completion percentage, RB Rachaad White is within 100 yards of joining Daniels as career rusher of 1,000 yards and is also among the team managers in receptions, as well as with WRs Ricky Pearsall and LV Bunkley-Shelton. C Dohnovan West was part of the 2020 All-Pac-12 first team. ASU defense ranks in the NCAA’s top 25 for interceptions, tackles for loss defense and efficiency passes. LB Darien Butler leads ASU in tackles and is 13th nationally in interceptions, while LB Kyle Soelle has also had an impact.
* The USC men’s and women’s swimming teams and the women’s tennis team will also be in action at ASU on Saturday.
* USC and the State of Arizona are not ranked in current AP sports media and USA Today coaching polls.
* USC hold a 23-13 series lead with Arizona State (not counting Troy’s 2005 road victory later canceled due to an NCAA penalty; original record 24-13) . USC have won 5 of the last 6 games, but before that, lost 3 of the 4 previous ones after winning the previous 10 games (not counting Troy’s road victory in 2005 later canceled due to a penalty from the NCAA; original record of 11), the longest winning streak in the playoffs.
* In 2019 at the last meeting in Tempe, QB Kedon Slovis threw 4 touchdowns in the first quarter to help USC take a 28-7 lead, then the Trojans hung on for a 31-26 win that was sealed only after DL Christian rectorthe last minute interception of. The victory made the Trojans bowl eligible after missing their game in 2018.
* In Tempe games, USC leads the series, 11-7 (not counting Troy’s 2005 road victory later canceled due to an NCAA penalty; original record 12-7). Seven of USC’s 13 losses in the series came to Tempe.
* Last year at the Coliseum, QB Kedon Slovis threw a pair of fourth touchdown passes in the last 3 minutes of the game – the first 26 yards to WR Bru McCoy with 2:52 to go who announced WR Amon-Ra St. Brown‘s hands and, after McCoy recovered the ensuing side kick, the second a 21-yarder WR Drake London caught over 2 defensemen with 1:20 left to play – to help the No. 20 in USC dramatically come back to beat Arizona State, 28-27, in their twice-delayed 2020 season opener. The 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter was the biggest the Trojans have overcome since a 14-point gap to Penn State in the 2017 Rose Bowl. It was USC’s first one-point win. since its victory over Arizona State in 2010. Because the COVID-19 pandemic twice delayed the start of the Pac-12 season, it was the last USC to start a season since 1918. The game has started at 9 a.m., the earliest for a USC home game since at least the early 1950s. It was the first time USC had opened a season against a league opponent since 1994. It was also the first time that USC started a season with their home game.
* USC has an all-time record of 266-134-20 (.657) playing in November (not including 3 canceled wins due to an NCAA penalty; original record: 269-134- 20, .660).
* USC won 69.9% (482-199-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (not counting 9 wins later canceled due to an NCAA penalty; original record : 491-199-29, 70.3%).
* USC is 183-72-4 (0.714) at night, including 108-34-4 at the Colosseum, 60-30 on the highway, and 15-8 at neutral sites. (Does not include 5 wins and 1 loss canceled due to NCAA penalty; original record: 188-73-4, .717 overall, 111-34-4 at Coliseum, 17-9 on neutral sites, USC had an academic record of 32-game night streak at home from 1997 to 2010.)
USC-ARIZONA STATE CONNECTIONS
* USC has 7 players from Arizona (S Isaiah Pola-Mao of Phoenix’s Mountain Pointe HS, QB Kedon Slovis by Scottsdale’s Desert Mountain HS, OL Andrew milek by Phoenix’s Brophy Prep, OL AJ Mageo of Red Mountain HS in Mesa, WR Zach Wilson and PK Parker lewis both Saguaro HS and WR from Scottsdale Jake smith of Notre Dame Prep of Scottsdale), while the Sun Devils have 36 Californians.
* USC S Isaiah Pola-MaoMatthew’s brother, Matthew, is a second defensive line player at Arizona State, while his father, Tracey, played with the Arizona Rattlers in the Arena League (1994-96).
* USC S Max Williamsbrother Macen is a red-shirted first-year defensive back at Arizona State.
* USC DL Maninoa TufonoJack’s brother is a graduate offensive assistant at Arizona State.
* USC Defensive Quality Control Analyst CJ Ah youThe uncle of, Junior Ah You, played football at Arizona State (1969-71).
* USC Wide Receiver Trainer Keary colbert is the cousin of former Arizona State defensive lineman Tommy Townsend (1999-2001), who also frequented USC.
* USC Defensive Line Coach Vic So’oto was linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals (2013).
* USC OL Jalen McKenzieHis father, Reggie, was linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals (1989-90).
* USC WR John jackson iiiThe father of, John Jr., was a wide receiver with the Phoenix Cardinals (1990-92).
* USC ILB Ralen Go aheadRandall’s brother was a defensive back with the Alliance of American Football Arizona Hotshots in 2019.
* USC ILB Micah Croomthe brother of Larry Jr., played for the Arizona Cardinals (2004-05),
* USC Football Sports Performance Assistant Coach Zaviar gooden was linebacker with the Arizona Cardinals (2016-17).
* USC Athletics Digital Content Coordinator Josh nacion graduated from the State of Arizona.
* USC DL Jacob Lichtenstein will celebrate its 23rd birthday on Saturday (November 6).
* ASU DB Jack Jones previously played for USC (2016-17).
* ASU linebacker coach Chris Claiborne spent 3 years (1996-98) as USC linebacker, where he was a unanimous All-American and won the Butkus Award in 1998, then served as Trojan’s offensive quality control analyst in 2020.
* ASU Assistant Head Coach / Special Teams Coordinator Shawn Slocum served as USC Assistant in 1998 and 1999.
* ASU women’s tennis coach Sheila McInerney was an American player for the Troy women from 1977 to 1980, playing on national championship teams for all 4 seasons.
* ASU Cross Country Head Coach Patrick Henner was USC’s Women’s Head Coach (2017-19).