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November 03, 2000|DAVID WHARTON

USC (3-5, 0-5) at Arizona State (5-3, 2-3)

* Kickoff: 6 p.m. Saturday at Sun Devil Stadium, Fox Sports Net.

* Story line: The Sun Devils might still be reeling from last week's loss to Oregon in which they decided to go for a two-point conversion--and failed--in double overtime. Still, they remain in the mix for a bowl bid and need only one more victory to ensure a winning record. The Trojans, meanwhile, are trying to put a five-game skid behind them.

* USC update: The Trojans' injured secondary and linebacking crew will be tested by an Arizona State passing attack that ranks atop the Pac-10 with receiver Richard Williams and tight end Todd Heap. "We know we're young," USC safety DeShaun Hill said. "But we can't let ourselves get down."

* Arizona State update: The Sun Devils are also having problems with injuries in the secondary, but the front seven is strong with tackle Kurt Wallin and defensive end Terrell Suggs. Adam Archuleta, a senior linebacker, leads the conference in tackles.

* Edge to Arizona State: The Sun Devils scored 55 points against the usually tough Oregon defense. And, the early season notwithstanding, the Trojans have not shown a capacity to come from behind. They could be walking into a buzz saw.

* Line: Arizona State by 3.

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