The matchup of exciting sophomore quarterbacks highlights the return of Pac-12 football with the No. 21 USC Trojans hosting the Arizona State Sun Devils on the morning of November 7.
The USC Trojans are coming off a somewhat disappointing season in 2019, finishing in second place behind the Utah Utes with an 8-5 overall record and a 7-2 conference record.
The Arizona State Sun Devils are looking to improve their 2019 season where they finished in fourth place with an 8-5 overall record and a 4-5 conference record.
Despite starting their season later than teams in the other Power 5 conferences, the Trojans still find themselves in the AP Top 25.
The Trojans defense didn’t change much, especially in the secondary with juniors Olaijah Griffin, Isaiah Pola-Mao, and Talanoa Hufanga who had 200 total tackles, five sacks, and four interceptions combined last season.
The defense also has three redshirt seniors and three redshirt juniors in OurLads’ projected depth chart.
One of the redshirt juniors, linebacker Jordan Iosefa, was expected to have a big season in 2019 but he was sidelined with a kneecap dislocation that happened during fall camp. He was a team captain last season despite not playing.
The Sun Devils, led by legendary head coach Herm Edwards, have a young offense and a more seasoned defense.
The quarterback, Jayden Daniels, is a sophomore who threw for almost 3,000 yards with a completion percentage over 60%, 17 touchdowns, and two interceptions in 12 games as a freshman.
In comparison, Slovis threw for 3,502 yards on almost 72 percent completion, 30 touchdowns, and nine interceptions in 12 games as a freshman. In two of those games, he attempted a combined 10 passes.
The battle of the sophomore quarterbacks should be fun to watch more than anything, but the USC defense will make Daniels work for all of his yards.
If the Sun Devils’ defense can keep Slovis and the offense off the field, they have a chance to upset the Trojans in the first game of the season.
The game is set for 9:00 a.m. Pacific time on FOX. The Trojans are the clear favorites over the Sun Devils in the ESPN PickCenter Analysis.