TUCSON, AZ – Coming off a bye week, Arizona Football (3-5, 1-4) battled against No. 10 USC (7-1, 5-1) but came up short in their 45-37 loss.
Despite gaining 543 yards, scoring 37 points, and turning the ball over just once, it ultimately wasn’t enough for Arizona Football as the Wildcats fell to No. 10 USC, 45-37 on Homecoming night.
Arizona competed, keeping pace for much of the game against a talented Trojans team, but unfortunately, the Wildcats’ defense could not make enough stops in this one to come out on top.
Trojans quarterback Caleb Williams was the difference-maker in this one as the former Oklahoma transfer threw for 411 yards and five touchdowns while completing 31-45 passes en route to leading USC to the eight-point win.
USC would start the game by scoring first. After receiving the ball on the kick-off, the Trojans drove 47 yards on 10 plays before settling for a field goal to make it 3-0.
A few plays later, Arizona struck as they drove 75 yards in nearly four minutes to take the lead at 7-3. Jayden de Laura would connect with Dorian Singer on a marvelous pass and catch in the end zone!
Unfortunately, the lead wouldn’t last long for Arizona as 10 plays later, USC drove 75 yards in 4:04 to take the lead at 10-7 as Williams found running back Raleek Brown on a six-yard reception.
Luckily, Arizona responded quickly as just before the end of the first quarter, the Wildcats were able to drive 50-yards in a little over two minutes to tie the game at 10-10 after Tyler Loop connected on a 42-yard field goal.
Trading scores back and forth, USC would get the ball right back and would score again. This time driving 75 yards as Williams found Brenden Rice this time to make it 17-10 in favor of the Trojans.
A field goal by Arizona on the ensuing drive would allow the Wildcats to make this one 17-13 with 6:59 to go in the half.
USC would get one last chance to score before the half, and after completing a pass to get down to the Arizona 10, a little snafu by the refs would allow for the clock to run out.
Trailing just17-13 at halftime, a competitive second half by Arizona Football would keep this one close.
Getting the ball back to start the second half, Arizona’s offense found a nice rhythm as they drove 74 yards on seven plays. However, the Wildcats would instead settle for a field goal, cutting USC’s lead to 17-16.
However, back-to-back touchdowns by the Trojans would make this one 31-16 with 5:08 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Needing scores desperately, the Wildcats would deliver!
Starting with a four-play, 60-yard drive that lasted 1:09, de Laura connected with Singer again, this time on a 19-yard reception that made it 31-23.
A quick three-and-out by the Trojans gave Arizona the ball right back, and luckily, the Wildcats capitalized! This time driving 57 yards on three plays, Arizona would find the end zone again! Arizona’s Michael Wiley would punch one in from 10 yards out to make it 31-29. The Wildcats would not convert on the two-point conversion.
Unfortunately, USC would find a rhythm again, this time scoring on back-to-back drives to make it 45-29 in favor of the Trojans.
Arizona would score again with 1:26 to play as de Laura found singer again for a touchdown, this time a 5-yard reception. A successful two-point conversion made it 45-37, but unfortunately, it was too little too late as the Wildcats fell to the Trojans
With the loss, the Wildcats fall to 3-5 (1-4) on the season and will return to action next week against Utah in Salt Lake City. The Utes are coming off a 21-17 win over Washington State.