The final month of the USC season was set to be his toughest stretch, a challenge that included two tough rides, a showdown between the city and Los Angeles, and an out-of-conference final against BYU, already eligible for the cup.
The rest of the schedule also proved to be quite tedious, and as the Trojans enter the last month in much worse shape than they expected, their last four games have taken on a new meaning. USC has to win at least two of those four to avoid missing out on Bowl Season for the second time in four years.
This climb begins Saturday at 7:30 pm in Tempe, Arizona, when the USC meets the Arizona State team in the midst of a serious descent. The Sun Devils have played under a dark cloud of scandal all season, but the cracks have just begun to show in the last two weeks when they lost to Washington and Utah on two touchdowns.
While maintaining a fast-paced attack that ranks among the best for the Pac-12, Arizona will strive to launch it as early and often as possible. The same strategy could be used for the USC, which comes into town as an eight-point underdog, preparing for a physical confrontation in the trenches.
Here’s what to expect from Saturday’s meeting between the two Pac-12 South teams hoping to be the contenders: