for this game

USC looks for better performance vs. Arizona State

Oct 10, 2006 - 10:09 PM Arizona St (3-2) at No. 3 USC (5-0), 8:00 pm EDT

LOS ANGELES (Ticker) - Pete Carroll hopes his team will not need to make a last-minute defensive stand for a third week in a row.

Third-ranked Southern California hopes for an easier game Saturday when it hosts reeling Arizona State in a Pac-10 Conference contest.

The Trojans (5-0, 3-0 Pac-10) held on for a 28-22 win at Washington State on September 30, then survived against Washington here last week, 26-20.

The Huskies were in position for a go-ahead touchdown after picking up a first down at the USC 15 with two seconds left, but the clock expired before they could take a shot at the end zone.

"I wouldn't say USC has struggled at all, they have just had some close games," Arizona State coach Dirk Koetter said. "I think that both Washington and Washington State did not beat themselves and gave themselves a chance to win at the end. USC is winning in different ways maybe then people are used to seeing them. I would not categorize what USC is doing as struggling, after all they are the No. 2 team in the country."

Carroll likely will not have the services of receiver Steve Smith, who suffered a high ankle sprain against the Huskies, but All-American Dwayne Jarrett is expected to play after missing most of the last two contests with a sprained left shoulder.

Despite the injuries, USC will look to extend its winning streaks of 29 home games, 26 Pac-10 games and 20 conference home contests - all league records - against the Sun Devils (3-2, 0-2), who have lost their last two games by a combined 63 points.

Arizona State had a bye last week after its 48-13 home thumping by Oregon on September 30. Rudy Carpenter completed just 6-of-19 passes for 33 yards and an interception and was sacked six times for the Sun Devils, who were outgained by a whopping 574-175.

USC, which has won 50 of its last 52 games overall, has taken the last six meetings with Arizona State.

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