Again, its all about being focused

ESPN's Ted Miller asks a legit question...

USC went from dominant to dreadful once before, so it's fair to ask if the Trojans might again be caught staring at their own reflections in the mirror with struggling Arizona State coming to town.

The Trojans buried Ohio State, then flopped at Oregon State. They then redeemed themselves with a 44-10 crushing of Oregon last weekend.

Now what?

Good Question!

As I have said in the past I will never look past a team ever again, not after Stanford.

As I read through a number of write-ups I keep seeing where people are saying that SC is just going to unload on ASU and pile it on.

Which Southern California will Arizona State see this weekend?

The Trojans who hope to improve to 4-1, or the Trojans who hope to improve to 4-1 and roll up excessive points with the intent of impressing voters whose polls impact the BCS standings?

I tried. Really. BCS detoxification. Algorithm exorcism. Garlic necklaces to ward off the ugly BCS thoughts that sucked the life out of my love for college football. I thought I had rid myself of Bowl Championship Series bashing until a point spread of 27 1/2 for Saturday's ASU game at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum left me wondering if it reflected a disparity in talent or a disparity in talent plus the likelihood that the Trojans will pour on the points (under the guise, of course, of securing the backup quarterback some important fourth-quarter reps.)

That could very well be the case with Carpenter out but we have seen 1st time QB's come into the Coliseum and come out with a win...You know, Stanford.

Now that SC has punched in the mouth I am hopeful that they will do their best to keep their intensity up. ASU is down right now and they have a lot of the same problems that they had last season and when you couple that with Carpenter probably being out it could line up to be a rout but again we have been down that road before.

Pete Carroll seems to think that this time it's different now that the team is in the middle of conference play.

"I think this is a different situation," USC coach Pete Carroll said. "We're right in the middle of the conference right now. I'm hoping that we're going to find out if we can elevate to the kind of level and consistency that we've played with for years around here. That's by taking every game as if it's so darn important, strictly a championship opportunity."

Sanchez starting will also give the team an emotional boost as he has become the teams natural leader. But if for some reason Sanchez can't go Mitch Mustain has progressed far enough along that he should be comfortable and effective at running the offense.

He traveled more than 1,500 miles from Arkansas to Los Angeles to become USC's starting quarterback. Spent more than a year learning a new offense. And went up and down the depth chart with hopes of sticking at No. 1.

Saturday's game against Arizona State at the Coliseum might have been Mustain's opportunity.

But Mark Sanchez has recovered from a knee injury that briefly sidelined him during last week's victory over Oregon and provided Mustain with his first taste of real playing time for the Trojans.

So Mustain waits. And prepares. He is content, for now, knowing he is one play away from getting back onto the field and leading the offense.

"Certainly, this is the best spot I've been in since I got here," he said this week.

All we want this team to do is to live up to their potential and put in a solid effort.

It would appear that the team has settled in after that terrible Oregon St. loss and that they have put their best attitude forward. We saw what they could do against an Oregon team with a pretty good defense but now they can't let up when they face a team who may be without their leader starting a virtual unknown at QB.

Things are clicking pretty good with the receiver play vastly improved, the running game is pretty effective and the defense for the most part is doing some stellar work. With how the team has played at home this year I think SC wins on Saturday but I expect nothing. SC just needs to play their game...the game like we saw against Ohio State and Oregon an they should be fine. The question is will they be up for it?

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