The Arizona State Sun Devils are preparing for the third game in their four-game gauntlet of a schedule.
First came Wisconsin, whom the Devils beat 32-30 at Sun Devil Stadium.
Then came Stanford, which handled ASU with relative ease in a 42-28 win.
Up next is USC, and while the Trojans are not the team they once where, ASU head coach Todd Graham understands his team has its work cut out for it.
“Our guys know we’re playing a very, very difficult schedule,” Graham told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Friday. “They understand the significance of this game with USC.”
The second-year coach said everyone is aware that the winner of this game will have an advantage in the Pac-12 South race, and while last week’s loss to the Cardinal was disappointing, a win Saturday would go long way toward making this season a success.
“The one that doesn’t (win) is looking uphill,” he said.
And, Graham noted, the Trojans talent belies their 3-1 record.
“We’re playing a very, very talented team — probably the most talented team,” he said. “Probably Oregon and USC have the most talented team that we’re going to play.”
Graham points to the Trojans’ speed along with their big offensive line, adding that receiver Marqise Lee is someone his defense will have to keep an eye on. The key, he said, will be keeping USC from big plays, and then offensively his squad must not turn the ball over.
“The biggest thing about their team is that their defense is really good,” he said. “They’re really athletic, really physical.”
No matter what happens, though, Graham is confident his team is ready for what lies ahead.
“Our guys know how big this game is; these guys always play very well out here on this field, and I look forward to bounce back, to play great this week.”