USC defense hoping to bounce back vs. Arizona St.



LOS ANGELES (AP) — If No. 21 Southern California even hopes to think about a big finish to its disappointing season, the Trojans realize they must improve on defense.

After the worst defensive game in USC history last week, almost anything at all would be an improvement Saturday against Arizona State.

USC (6-3, 4-3 Pac-12) hosts the slumping Sun Devils (5-4, 3-3) in what’s essentially an elimination game for the Pac-12 South title. Two prolific offenses will face two inconsistent defenses, but coach Lane Kiffin doesn’t think the Trojans can score their way out of a two-game skid.

The USC offense led by Matt Barkley and receivers Robert Woods and Marqise Lee has scored at least 36 points in four of the last five games, but will face the Pac-12’s best pass defense.