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Will the Real Sun Devils Please Stand Up? Homecoming Loss to USC Stings

31 October 2017  
Ronald Jones attempts to get past Sun Devils JoJo Wicker in the first quarter of Saturday nights game. Jones rushed for 216 yards on 18 carries as USC beat ASU 48-17.
With two wins, ASU is within bowl eligibility. But can they get those 2 wins?

All good things must come to an end as did the two game winning streak for the Sun Devils as visiting USC took it to the "old school look" Devils 48-17 on Homecoming Night at ASU.

The Sun Devils, who wore the classic "Sparky" helmets, had produced back to back high quality performances in as many weeks by upsetting the Washington Huskies and the Utah Utes. The third week was no charm for ASU, who were simply outplayed from the opening quarter.

Coming into this week, one could sense that we would most likely see a different Trojan team than the one that got beat up at Notre Dame the week before. So our fears were quickly confirmed.

USC came out quickly and scored their first touchdown in less than four minutes into the game.. ASU answered with Brandon Ruiz field goal to make it 7-3, but the Trojans kept scoring in building a 31-3 lead heading into the locker room. The final play of the half was a jump ball that Kyle Williams caught as he went to the turf. Though not ruled a touchdown at the time, it was then reviewed by the officials, and the Sun Devils were awarded the touchdown.

Down 31-10 to start the third, ASU got even closer as quarterback Manny Wilkins scored from one yard out, and suddenly it was 31-17, with 11:30 left in the third quarter.. That turned out to be all the points ASU could muster as the Trojans shut down the Sun Devils en route to a 31 point win, 48-17.

The loss drops ASU to third place in the Pac-12 South, with a (3–2) record, (4-4) overall. The Sun Devils host Colorado (2-4), (5-4), on Saturday at 6pm. The question is what ASU team will show up. The signs of a great team, or at least the ability to be a great team shined like we had not seen in a while, but that shine clearly was dimmer this past Saturday.

The Sun Devils have a decent shot of running the table, but that will take some consistency on both sides of the ball, as they did versus Washington and Utah. The next two games after this week are at UCLA and at Oregon State. Both of those are winnable, but once again the Sun Devils will have to play well. U of A will come to Tempe in the regular season finale. The Wildcats (4-1), and (6-2), all of the sudden in the discussion for the Pac-12 South title.

ASU is two wins away from bowl eligibility, which is clearly in reach.

Ron Williams

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