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Sun Devils seek to top Trojans for first time this century

Plenty has happened in the collegiate sporting world since 1999. Obviously there have been plenty of scandals, the Oregon Ducks showed us that a team can have more than just home and away uniforms, and of course the SEC has shown its dominance winning National Championship after National Championship.

However, one thing that hasn’t happened is Arizona State defeating USC on the gridiron a streak that currently stands at 11.

November 6, 1999 was the last time the Sun Devils beat the Trojans, winning 26-16 in Los Angeles. In the game the Devils had the help of future pros Todd Heap and J.R. Redman.

But since that 1999 win the team has failed to overcome the challenge USC presents.

Some of those losses have been more pivotal than others, like a 2004 45-7 shellacking that dampened a promising 5-0 start.

Another big loss during this stretch is a 44-24 beating in 2007, which ultimately cost the Sun Devils a Pac-10 championship. Instead USC and ASU “shared” the title even though USC got to go to the Rose Bowl and ASU went to the Holiday Bowl, which they lost.

Not all the losses were complete blowouts, but a few of the close losses hurt the Sun Devils just as bad. A prime example of this happened just last season when USC blocked an extra point and returned it for a two point conversion. The Sun Devils lost 34-33, and if the extra point is made the team wins and probably goes to a bowl game.

It’s not like Arizona State hasn’t come close to beating USC.

In 2005 ASU took a 21-3 lead into halftime, looking good until the Trojans put up five touchdowns compared to ASU’s one, winning the game 38-28 at Sun Devil Stadium. Technically that win is “vacated” thanks to Reggie Bush, but that doesn’t mean the Sun Devils won the game.

ASU faces USC Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium in what could be the matchup that decides the real Pac-12 South champ. If USC wins the Pac-12 South its not allowed to play for the championship due to NCAA sanctions so the team in second goes, but the Sun Devils would prefer to win the title outright.

Winning Saturday would not only break the USC curse, it would also give the Devils an inside track to the Pac-12 South title.