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Trojans in Trouble

USC is demoralized right now as they head into the locker room at halftime, trailing the Arizona State Sun Devils 21-3. Never in the past three seasons have I seen the Trojans look so mediocre for an entire half. USC committed seven penalties in the first quarter alone; their offense has not been able to get into any kind of rhythm and have been stopped twice on fourth down attempts. Matt Leinart looks average at best. Reggie Smith has been held in check.

The Sun Devils deserve a lot of credit. Their defense is playing huge right now, knocking Leinart on his back several times (once illegally). They have stuffed USC's run game and kept the passing game in front of them, only allowing completions underneath: the longest USC pass play was a 23-yard Leinart to Dwayne Jarrett completion early in the first quarter. On the other side, the Sun Devils offense hasn't done anything really impressive. But they've methodically moved the ball down the field and have avoided any big mistakes.

Last week when USC went into halftime down 13-10 against the Ducks, they had momentum and confidence. Anyone can tell that they outplayed Oregon toward the end of the first half. This week is much different: ASU has all of the momentum and confidence and I expect that they will hold onto their lead and come out on top after the next 30 minutes. Bottom line: they are simply outplaying USC right now.

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