USC ready to move forward after blowout loss at Notre Dame

With the playoffs no longer possible and many passengers having left the bandwagon, it must seem like USC has nothing left to play for, right? Hardly, coach Clay Helton said Sunday.

The 49-14 loss at Notre Dame caused the Trojans to drop to 21 st in the latest Associated Press poll, but since that was a nonconference game it has no bearing on being able to win the Pac-12’s South Division. At 4-1 in league play, USC is a half-game ahead of Arizona State (3-1) and Arizona (3-1), the next two teams it plays.

The Trojans visit Arizona State on Saturday, where they’ve opened as four-point favorites. Preparing for the Sun Devils became the team’s focus not long after the Notre Dame game ended, Helton said.

Which of the latest USC players to get hurt will be available remains to be seen. Among those banged up against Notre Dame were quarterback Sam Darnold, who left the game in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury, and cornerback Iman Marshall, who hurt his knee.

In Arizona State USC will be facing a team that’s won its past two games, against then-unbeaten Washington and at Utah, by allowing only 17 total points. The Sun Devils intercepted Utah quarterback Tyler Huntley four times.

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