USC coach says ASU is the team to beat in Pac-12

Jul 26, 2011, 10:25 PM | Updated: 11:38 pm

TEMPE – Many of the experts have tabbed the USC Trojans as the favorites to win the newly formed Pac-12 South this season.

Don’t tell that to their head coach.

“I don’t know what people are looking at by putting us ahead of Arizona State. I would think that they’d be for sure the front-runner,” said Lane Kiffin on Sports 620 KTAR on Tuesday afternoon.

Kiffin bases his assessment by the personnel on ASU’s roster.

“For a couple years, you guys have probably pointed to this being their year with so many seniors and returning starters,” said Kiffin.

The USC coach believes ASU is loaded on both sides of the ball.

“On defense, they play so physical. They don’t do many things, but they do them extremely well.”

“You combine that with how explosive they’ve been on offense, especially towards the end of the year, they’re going to be tough to handle,” said Kiffin.

Kiffin is undoubtedly trying to turn up the heat and put pressure on an ASU team that has underachieved for years.

Still, with all the praise and high expectations being placed on ASU, coach Dennis Erickson better have his team ready when the season starts.

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