1.) How will each team respond to adversity?
USC returns home after a disappointing result in Tempe, Ariz. The Trojans fell to the Sun Devils 43-22 and shot themselves in the foot by turning the ball over four times and squandering several scoring opportunities. USC coach Lane Kiffin commented Tuesday that the team looked more focus than they did last week. Meanwhile, Arizona is off to a 1-3 start as it concludes a brutal stretch of games. After rolling Northern Arizona in the opener, the Wildcats had to face No. 9 Oklahoma State, No. 6 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon.
2.) Can the Trojans finally win the turnover battle?
After the loss to Arizona State , Kiffin revealed that he offered the defense ice cream if they could force turnovers. The offer was to no avail, however. Through four games, the Trojans have yet to win the turnover battle in a contest. For the year, their turnover margin is minus-six. All signs point to USC losing the turnover battle yet again this weekend. Seniorquarterback Nick Foles has yet to throw an interception, and the Wildcats have only turned it over once in four games.
3.) Will Nick Foles carve up the USC secondary?
The senior quarterback is off to a solid start despite his team’s record. He has completed 129 of his 183 attempts (70.5 percent) for 1,447 yards. That mark is fourth best in the nation. Perhaps the most impressive part of Foles’s performance has been his ability to make smart throws. The third year starter has thrown 10 touchdowns without being intercepted this year. However, the offensive line has not done a spectacular job of blocking for him. Foles has been sacked 12 times so far. An effective pass rush from USC could help slow him down and throw off his rhythm.
4.) Is Arizona going to be able to establish a running game?
Out of 120 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, Arizona ranks No. 119 in rush yards per game with 62.3, though that may be a function of its system. Arizona has favored the pass in its play calling, throwing 189 times and running only 99 times. All four rushers who have touched the ball average over 4 yards per carry, and the Wildcats might try to run more after watching film of last week’s USC game. The Sun Devils opened up the passing game and spread out the Trojan’s defense to create holes for running back by striking a good run-pass balance.