Arizona Football travels to Los Angeles to take on No. 9 USC

BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30: Tight end Jude Wolfe #18 of the USC Trojans celebrates after a third quarter touchdown catch with tight end Lake McRee #87 in the third quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 30, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - SEPTEMBER 30: Tight end Jude Wolfe #18 of the USC Trojans celebrates after a third quarter touchdown catch with tight end Lake McRee #87 in the third quarter against the Colorado Buffaloes at Folsom Field on September 30, 2023 in Boulder, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /

Fresh off a hard-fought loss to No. 7 Washington, Arizona Football (3-2, 1-1) returns to action to take on No. 9 USC (5-0, 3-0) in Los Angeles. 

Coming off a close loss to highly-touted Washington, the road doesn’t get any easier for Arizona Football as the Wildcats resume Pac-12 against No. 9 USC.

Traveling to Southern California for a marquee matchup against the Trojans, the Wildcats should have yet another difficult challenge on their hands as they take on a talented and skilled USC team.

And coming in, the Trojans are fresh off of a hard-fought win over Colorado in Boulder where they escaped with a 48-41 over the Buffaloes, meanwhile, the Wildcats fought but came up short against No. 7 Washington.

Entering this one as double-digit underdogs this week, Arizona will have another big matchup in front of them, and they will need to play a flawless game if they are to come away with the upset. We will see if the Wildcats have it in them to score the upset.

Getting to Know the details about Arizona Football’s upcoming opponent, the USC Trojans.

Team: USC Trojans

Conference: Pac-12 Conference

Current Record: 5-0 (3-0)

Head Coach: Lincoln Riley enters his second season as head coach of the Trojans where he is currently 16–3 (11–1) with one Pac-12 South Championship under his belt.

But before moving from Norman to Southern California, Riley previously served as head coach at Oklahoma from 2017–21 where he compiled a 55–10 (37-7) record in five seasons with five bowl appearances. Overall, he is 71–13 (48–9) as a head coach in his career.

2022 Record: Finishing the 2022 season with an 11–3 (8–1) record, the Trojans finished in first place in the Pac-12 South but ultimately lost to Utah in the Pac-12 Title game before advancing to the Cotton Bowl Classic. USC would lose to Tulane in Arlington.

Key Returners / Starters:


Fresh off of a huge turnaround in 2022, the Trojans return Heisman frontrunner Caleb Williams at quarterback, who is off to a hot start in 2023 with 1,603 yards passing with 21 touchdowns to just one interception while completing 105-141 passes.

And running a bit of an Air Raid offense the Trojans have the best offense in the country as they are currently averaging 53.6 points per game and 555.0 yards per game average.

Spreading the field, Williams likes to get the ball in the hands of his multiple offensive weapons which include Tahj Washington, Mario Williams, Brenden Rice, and a familiar face in Dorian Singer.

Together, they account for a majority of their offensive production and are going to test the Wildcats’ secondary immensely.

And lining up behind Williams are Marshawn Lloyd, Austin Jones, and Quinten Joyner. The trio are a very formidable group, with Marshawn getting a lot of the work.

Overall, Arizona is going to have a significant challenge, and we will see if the Wildcats are up to the task.


Running more of a hybrid 3-4 defense, this is a defense intended for gap responsibility and gap integrity. Putting seven guys in the box, defensive coordinator Alex Grinch does vary some of his looks and may drop guys into coverage, shoot gaps, etc. Overall, this is a fast and athletic defense, but hasn’t necessarily performed to its potential.

This year, the defense is surrendering an average of 404.4 yards and 24.2 points per game.

Largely led by its playmakers, the Trojans get significant contributions from Jaylin Smith and Calen Bullock. Together, the two lead the defense in tackles and are the presumptive leaders of this group.

Up front, the Trojans have tremendous size and talent, this is an aggressive group that is holding opponents to 147.8 yards rushing per game and has a whopping 19.0 sacks through five games.

Defensive linemen Solomon Byrd, Jamil Muhammad, and Romello Height are a big reason for that, and they will challenge Arizona’s offensive line significantly.

However, the secondary is where Arizona may find some success. Overall, this is a group that is surrendering 256.6 yards passing and an average of 2.0 touchdowns per game.

Led by defensive backs Bullock, Bryson Shaw, and Max Williams, the Wildcats will also see another familiar face in Christian Roland-Wallace.

Together, this is an aggressive and physical group that does a great job of forcing turnovers, and whoever is at quarterback will have to make smart choices with the football if the Cats hope to find success and rhythm on offense.

Game information and details for Arizona Football:

When: Saturday, October 7th, 2023

Time: 7:30 PM MST

Watch: ESPN

Spread: +21.5 Arizona (Don’t forget to sign up with Caesars Sportsbook or DraftKings to enhance your overall betting experience)

Where: United Airlines Field at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum – Los Angeles, CA (77,500)

Overall Series Record: 37-8 USC. Having met several times in their collective history, this is a series that USC has dominated, winning the last 10 straight including 19 of the last 21. Arizona’s last win against the Trojans came in 2012 when the Wildcats narrowly beat the Trojans 39-36 at home.

Last Meeting vs. Arizona: Last year in Tucson, the Wildcats battled and competed against the Trojans, but, unfortunately, Arizona came up short, losing 45-37.

My Prediction: USC 45 Arizona 34 – Even though I think Arizona will compete, unfortunately, the Wildcats do not have enough playmakers and talent to come away with the upset. Winning on the road is never easy, and after USC gets out to the quick start, I see the Trojans hanging on to win this one.

Related Story. Arizona Football battles, comes up short against No. 7 Washington. light

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