After coming off their bye week, Arizona Football (3-4, 1-3) returns to action to take on the No. 10 USC Trojans (6-1, 4-1) for Homecoming.
Week eight of the 2022 Arizona Football season is upon us, and just one week after the Wildcats’ bye week, Arizona returns to action against the No. 10 USC Trojans for Homecoming.
Coming in, Arizona enters this one as double-digit underdogs, and the Wildcats will have a significant challenge on their hands, especially as they welcome a Trojan team fresh off of a bye week as well.
As we saw against Washington, the Wildcats still have a lot of issues, particularly on defense, and if Arizona is somehow going to win, they will virtually have to play a perfect game.
With that said, here are the keys for Arizona Football to knock off the No. 10 USC Trojans.
The Defense needs to get a few Stops at Least
What has been a constant theme with this group this season, Arizona’s defense has been abysmal in slowing down opposing offenses, and against Washington, the Wildcats forced the Huskies to just one punt and two turnovers on downs. That effort is not good enough, and if Arizona is going to beat USC, they have to show some sort of modicum of improvement fresh off their bye week.
This Saturday, if Arizona is going to score the major upset, they have to figure out a way to generate more stops, otherwise, it is going to be a long day.
Not Getting too far behind, too Early
Like its past couple of opponents, USC is too good of a team that can score in bunches, and Arizona’s defense AND offense have to be ready to play in this one.
To me, if Arizona is going to win, they are going to need the momentum early on, and should the Wildcats find themselves down against the Trojans early on, I do not like their chances of winning.
Arizona will have to be ready to play and keep this one as competitive as possible if they hope to score the upset against USC.
Protect the Football
In three of Arizona’s losses this season, the Wildcats have turned the ball over nine times. Adversely in their three wins, the Wildcats have turned the ball just twice.
I know this goes without saying, but if Arizona hopes to beat USC on Saturday, then they need to take better care of the football.
Should Jayden de Laura and the Wildcats make too many costly mistakes, then you can kiss their chances of getting the upset, goodbye.
Generate Pressure / Get Sacks
So far in 2022, Arizona’s defensive pressure has been non-existent. Granted part of that is scheme change compared to previous defensive coordinator Don Brown’s blitz-heavy philosophy; however, the lack of a pass rush is gravely concerning.
If Arizona is to somehow beat the Trojans this weekend, they have to be able to generate pressure and get some sacks. Easier said than done of course, especially against a mobile quarterback, but something has to change, otherwise, Arizona is going to have a long day.