USC opponent preview: Arizona State Sun Devils

Coach: Dennis Erickson

2010: 6-6 (4-5 in the Pac-10)

Returning starters: Eight (offense), six (defense)

After three straight seasons in which it failed to reach a bowl game, Arizona State hopes to break through in 2011 and potentially win the Pac-12 South as USC is ineligible to play in the conference title game.

Coach Dennis Erickson’s group is led by junior quarterback Brock Osweiler, who started two games last year and threw for 647 yards, five touchdowns and zero interceptions in those starts. Also returning is junior running back Cameron Marshall, who ran for 797 yards and nine touchdowns, as well as senior wide receiver Mike Willie, who had six touchdowns last season.

The defense, however, is what has Tempe abuzz this summer, as they feature junior All-American linebacker Vontaze Burfict, who finished with 54 solo tackles last season, while earning Pac-10 defensive MVP honors.