Wildcat Sports

GAME BLOG: Arizona vs No. 10 USC



Cornerback Shaquille Richardson bats down Barkley’s Hail Mary attempt and the Wildcats topple the Trojans. Arizona (5-3, 2-3 Pac-12) might sneak back into the top-25 after beating No. 10 USC (6-2, 4-2). All three of the Wildcats’ losses were against ranked teams and only the defeat to No. 2 Oregon was lopsided.


Last play of the game, the Trojans at the UA 48 yard line.


Rodriguez stays safe and keeps the ball out of Vanilla Vick’s hands. Carey gets stuffed for a one yard loss and the Wildcats will punt to USC with 1:01 left on the clock.

One thing Wildcat fans never want to hear – it’s up to the defense now.


USC takes its third and final timeout after the Wildcats picked up two first downs on the ground. Arizona faces a third and 11 with under two minutes left.

This is big.


Well that’s not a good sign. Backup quarterback B.J. Denker is in the game after Scott is presumably being examined for a concussion. He was hit hard in the head the previous drive and threw up three times at the 30-yard-line. Scott ended up finishing the drive and throwing a touchdown pass, but since he’s being held out in such a critical moment, something must be wrong.

The game is now in the hands of Carey.


TOUCHDOWN Southern California; UA 39, USC 36

Tailback Silas Redd cuts into the Arizona lead with a 10-yard touchdown run and then who else but Lee catches the two-point conversion.

Ten minutes ago (real time) this game looked like it might be over. Now, not so much.


What’s the best way to blow an 11-point lead with less than six minutes left? Allowing the trailing team to return the kickoff 72 yards.

I think I’ve mentioned it once or twice, but Marqise Lee is really,really good.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 39, USC 28

Scott and the Wildcat offense can’t be stopped right now. The senior leader hit David Richards for a seven yard score and put the Wildcats up by two scores with just under six minutes left.

Scott is 27-for-50 for 369 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Scott also has 100 yards rushing which is the first time a UA quarterback has done that since 2000.


Arizona blows two timeouts on the front and back of a three yard Carey run. Scott got hit in the head two plays ago and it looked like it might have shaken him up, but he’s staying in there. The kid really is a warrior.


Defensive tackle Reggie Gilbert sacked Barkley on a third and long, forcing USC to punt after a three and out. Don’t look now, but that’s the Wildcats second sack today and sixth sack in the last two games. The defense is finally creating some pressure.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 32, USC 28

Ka’Deem Carey makes his first real appearance of the game, plunging into the end zone from seven yards out. With all the unworldly passing numbers, the running backs have been completely overlooked but Carey has had a nice little game. He’s gained 90 yards on 19 attempts.

Arizona went for two but Scott’s pass sailed over the head of Buckner.


Marqise Lee better watch out because Austin Hill is coming for him. On a third and long, Hill catches a 60-yard pass from Scott and now has 259 yards on the afternoon. Lee has 313 yards, which is the new Pac-12 receiving record.


REVERSE! On a fourth and two, coach Lane Kiffin tries to outsmart everyone with a reverse run by Lee but the Wildcats snuff it out and stop him after just a one yard gain. Turnover on downs.


USC went for it on fourth and seven at the UA 35-yard-line and Barkley’s pass floated incomplete. Naturally, Arizona was offside so USC will get another shot, this time a fourth and two, once the TV timeout ends.

Also, the teams have combined for a nice and clean 1,000 yards.


END OF THE 3RD QUARTER; Southern California 28, Arizona 26

This has been a game of big numbers and it’s not even close to being over. The two teams have combined for 997 total yards, 23 penalties for 211 yards, six turnovers and of course Lee and Hill have gone off.

It should be an exciting fourth quarter. Unfortunately only half of the Zona Zoo will get to see the conclusion as the other half of the Zoo is mysteriously missing.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; USC 28, UA 26

Receiver Dan Buckner makes a pretty grab in the end zone for a nine yard touchdown. Buckner had been fairly quiet before this drive, but the senior now has six catches for 59 yards.

Arizona went for the two point conversion but Carey was stuffed at the one yard line. The Wildcats trail by two with 1:42 left in the 3rd quarter. Yes, the game is still in the third quarter.


They’re ALIVE! After recording a rare sack the play earlier, the Wildcats forced their second fumble of the game and recovered it. Arizona will start with the ball at the 37-yard-line.

Most importantly for Wildcat fans, ASU lost 45-43 to UCLA. The Sun Devils (5-3, 3-2 Pac-12) have now lost two straight.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; USC 28, UA 20

Scott kept the ball on the read option and took it into the end zone for his first rushing score of the game. Hill made a clutch 42-yard catch on the drive to help keep Arizona alive.

He has nine catches for 199 yards today, which is really impressive until you remember Lee has exactly 100 more yards.


Today’s attendance: 47,822. I guess 12:30 is a little early for the Arizona faithful. But with how sloppy this game has been, I don’t completely blame their decision. Also, it’s almost three hours in and it’s not even the fourth quarter yet.


Well at least it should have been a huge break for Arizona. Instead Scott threw back to back incompletions and the Wildcats had to punt. Another good kick by Dugandzic though, he’s doing work.


So remember how I said this was a big drive? Well Scott almost just threw his second interception of the game, but after the refs reviewed it, the ball hit the ground.

Huge break for the Wildcats.


Arizona with the ball on its own 32-yard-line. The defense just forced its first three and out of the game. This drive right here is huge for the Wildcats. They can’t afford to fall behind by three scores and the way it looks, USC will score again.


Arizona’s punter Kyle Dugandzic is having himself a game. Both of his punts have been pinned inside the 20, this time at the six-yard-line.

Who’s not having them-self a game? The Wildcats’ offense on third down. Arizona is 1-for-10 on third down conversions which is a big reason why they trail. That and Marqise Lee.


TOUCHDOWN Southern California; USC 28, UA 13

Lee is going bananas right now. The sophomore caught a mid-range pass in the center of the field and proceeding to sprint by the Arizona secondary, including speedster Derrick Rainey for a 44 yard touchdown reception.

At the moment, Lee has 13 catches for 299 yards and two scores. The latest reception just broke the Pac-12 single game yardage mark set in 2004 by Oregon State’s Mike Hass.

Hass had 293 yards against Boise State, but Lee just broke it by six and its still early in the third quarter. I think it’s fair to say the Wildcats are having trouble bottling up safety Patrick Onwuasor’s high school buddy.


The Arizona defense has had trouble staying healthy this game. Nose tackle Sione Tuihalamaka is the latest Wildcat to be helped off the field. Maybe its the early start or the fact that Lee has run rampant in the secondary today, but Arizona is struggling to stay on the field.


And the second half is off! Also, a nice offside penalty on USC’s kick. I’m glad they are keeping the sloppiness going in the second half.

The Trojans now have nine penalties for 84 yards while Arizona has 10 for 99 yards. Pretty impressive right there.


HALFTIME; Southern California 21, Arizona 13

Here’s the halftime recap by Zack Rosenblatt as the Wildcats trail by eight to No. 10 USC.

Some notable stats:

*UA linebacker Marquis Flowers has four total tackles (second on team behind cornerback Jonathan McKnight’s seven). Flowers also has two interceptions and a forced fumble.

  • UA running back Ka’Deem Carey has 41 yards on 11 attempts on the ground. He also has eight receiving yards.
  • UA quarterback Matt Scott is 16-for-31 for 191 yards a touchdown and an interception. He also has 53 yards rushing.
  • USC quarterback Matt Barkley is 21-for-29 with 321 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

*Oh and USC’s Marqise Lee has 12 receptions for 255 yards and a touchdown. No big deal.


Bonano’s streak comes to an end. After making a 27-yarder that was called off from a hold, the senior missed wide right from 32-yards out. Arizona heads into the half trailing by eight.

The missed field goal wasted a nice 56-yard kickoff return by Daniel Jenkins which was easily the UA long of the year. The previous high was 20 yards.


TOUCHDOWN Southern California; USC 21, UA 13

Tailback D.J. Morgan punched it in from three yards out to complete a six play, 79 yard drive. Morgan may have gotten the score, but that drive was all about Barkley and Lee.

Barkley went 4-for-4 for 74 yards on the drive and three of the passes and 70 of the yards went to Lee. He now has 12 receptions for 255 yards and a touchdown – in the half! Crazy.


FIELD GOAL Arizona; USC 14, UA 13

Bonano connects from 44-yards out to get the Wildcats within one point with 2:38 left in the first half. Bonano really has turned it around now, hitting five straight. The kick was also just two yards shorter than his season long.


Crazy play right there. Scott’s pass to Dan Buckner was a little errant and it got tipped in the air and picked off. But safety Jawanza Starling fumbled the ball back to Arizona on the return and Garic Wharton forced it. Really there is nothing worse than when a defender fumbles the ball back on the return.

Pick-sixes are back breakers, but I’ve seen those double-turnover plays happen way too often. Just get on the ground and take the pick.


TOUCHDOWN Southern California; USC 14, UA 10

Barkley hit Lee on a crossing pattern and the sophomore stud took care of the rest. Lee sprinted past the Arizona secondary for a 49-yard touchdown pass and the Trojans lead for the first time this afternoon.

Lee now has nine catches for 180 yards and a touchdown. He is so good. Arizona’s Austin Hill is trying to keep pace though, as he has 137 yards on six catches so far.


The curse of Tyler Slavin’s terrible hands returns. Arizona went for it on fourth and 15 (they actually picked up a fourth and 13 a play earlier, but it was called back for an illegal block in the back). Scott actually found Slavin open with first down yardage but the sophomore dropped the easy catch. He also couldn’t catch anything in the Oregon game.

But more importantly, they just played the Monster Mash on the Jumbotron during the TV timeout. The Mash is by far my favorite Halloween song of all-time. Also hardcore Simpsons fans might remember a Monster Mash shout-out in the “I Cho-Cho Chose You” Valentine episode, which is one of my favorite jokes in that show. Ahh, I love Halloween.

Oh right, back to football.


I’m guessing USC is wishing Flowers took their scholarship offer now. The junior just picked off Barkley for his second interception of the game. Flowers also forced the fumble earlier. I guessing the injury wasn’t too serious earlier.


TOUCHDOWN Southern California; UA 10, USC 7

Barkley hit tight end Xavier Grimble out on the edge for an easy 12-yard touchdown. The 6-foot-5, 260 pound Grimble could have walked into the end zone he was so open on the right side of the field.

Also that was Barkley’s first completion to someone not named Lee or Woods. Barkley is 14-for-20 with 191 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Marqise Lee has 128 of those yards and seven receptions. That kid is good.


Timeout USC. Right now it’s first and 10 from the Arizona 12-yard-line. The Trojans have not been good in the red zone so far this game, going 0-for-2 this afternoon.

Also, this game has not exactly been clean. USC has six penalties for 59 yards and Arizona has had four for 42 yards. And those totals don’t account for two offsetting penalties earlier in the game when UA’s Dan Buckner almost came to blows with USC’s corner Torin Harris.


Arizona with the first punt of the game. Pac-12 teams really don’t like to punt the ball, which I fully endorse. But when they do, the Wildcats’ Kyle Dugandzic does it well. He pinned the Trojans on the 16-yard-line.

SCORE UPDATE: No. 4 Oregon 56, Colorado 0. That’s not the final score, that’s just at halftime. Ouch.


Yes, Flowers is definitely back in the game. The junior forced the Redd to fumble the ball in the red zone and McKnight recovered the ball. Flowers, coincidentally, was one of three Wildcat players to be recruited by USC. According to head coach Rich Rodriguez, he might have been the only player to actually be offered a scholarship.


Another nice break for Arizona. Cornerback Jonathan McKnight was called for pass interference on a throw to the endzone. But after the refs discussed it, they picked up the flag and made it a nice play for the sophomore.

Also, linebacker Marquis Flowers is back in the game. Justin Washington is not.


END OF THE 1ST QUARTER; Arizona 10, Southern California 0

Check out Zack Rosenblatt’s first quarter recap to see how Arizona built its early 10-0 lead over No. 10 USC.


FIELD GOAL Arizona; UA 10, USC 0

Bonano hits from 27-yards out to complete an 11-play, 76 yard drive for the Wildcats. After his terrible start to the season, Bonano has turned it around, hitting four in a row. He’s 8-for-13 on the season, which is by no means great but he’s at least hitting the close ones.


Right now USC has five penalties for 54 yards and are the worst team in the nation in regard to penalties per game. But this time a penalty hurts Arizona badly. Running back Ka’Deem Carey nearly walked into the endzone untouched, but that happened for a reason.

Right tackle Fabbians Ebbele held on the play and it negated the touchdown. Not to be outdone, the next play a USC defender ripped the helmet off of Carey, resulting in an automatic first down for Arizona. Nice job.


I guess you could say this Arizona offense is pretty good. After the Wildcats stopped USC on a fourth down try, Scott hit receiver Austin Hill for a 56-yard screen pass and now they’re in the red zone. Hill almost had a shot at a touchdown on the play, but the USC defense is just too fast for that.


Uh oh. Flowers gingerly walks off the field after getting hurt on the last play. With how shallow the linebacking core is, Arizona desperately needs him to return to the game.

However it’s not all bad injury wise as bandit safety Jared Tevis is back on the field for the Wildcats.


TOUCHDOWN Arizona; UA 7, USC 0

Scott hits the recently healthy Johnny Jackson for an eight yard score.

Right now Scott is winning the battle against arch rival Barkley. OK fine, arch rival is too strong of a word, but Scott said in the Monday press conference he had some bad blood with the USC quarterback. The bitterness came after Scott lost to Barkley in a huge high school game five years ago.

In 2007, Barkley’s Mater Dei beat Scott’s Centennial High 51-37 in a epic meeting between two of the state’s best schools that year.


Another huge play for the Wildcats – quarterback Matt Scott’s pass sailed past David Richards but free safety T.J. McDonald decided to taunt him and change the fourth and six into a first down.

That was USC’s second personal foul already. Apparently the Trojans are cranky in the morning.


Interception for Arizona by Marquis Flowers. The converted linebacker returned it 14-yards.

For Arizona, the third time was the charm. On three straight plays the Wildcats almost picked off Barkley’s pass but this time Arizona finally secured it.


Barkley is 3-for-4 on the drive for 32 yards. All three completions have come on third down. As well as the defense has contained so far, it has to stop USC on third down if the Wildcats want to stay in the game.

Another timeout, this time by the refs as defensive end Justin Washington had to be helped off the field. Hopefully he’s not hurt too badly because Washington has done a great job regaining a spot in the starting lineup. Coming into the season, the former Sporting News First Team Freshman All-American was suspended and buried deep on the depth chart.

He finally worked his way back onto the field, but we will see how seriously he was hurt. At least he was able to walk off the field, with a lot of assistance of course.


After further review, Redd’s elbow hit the ground at the 35-yard-line for a five yard game. That’s a nice break for the Wildcats. It’s now third and four after a short run the next play by Redd.


TOUCHDOWN USC – for the moment. Redd ran the ball to the left side of the field and was tackled but rolled over the Arizona defender and never touched the ground (or at least that’s what they ruled on the field). He then continued to run all the way into the endzone for a 34-yard touchdown.

Right now they’re reviewing if he actually touched the ground or not.


Apparently Matt Barkley can run a little and he just juked out Sir T. The 11-yard scamper was his longest run of the season. And scamper is definitely the right word.


Early timeout by the Trojans. Right now it’s third and six, the second third down of the drive for USC. Don’t worry, the play-by-play will slow down soon, there just hasn’t been much going on right now. Silas Redd has just six yards on three carries and Barkley is 1-for-2 for nine yards.


Good news for Arizona: Barkley’s first pass went incomplete, tying his total from last week (He went 19-for-20 against Colorado).

The Bad: USC picked up a third and long after the Wildcats failed to get any pressure. But the defense has looked strong through the first few plays.


And we’re off! Senior John Bonano boots it into the end zone for a touchback. The Trojans will start from the 25 yard-line.


USC wins the toss and decides to receive the ball first. The Arizona defense will get its first shot at Barkley and Co. Giving up an early touchdown won’t be the death of Arizona. Giving up two in the first quarter, that could be more of an issue.


Right now the upper deck of Arizona Stadium is shockingly empty. Actually, shocking isn’t the right word because I completely expected it. But still, this is a huge game.

I guess it’s fitting though for Arizona supporters to take a lesson from the Los Angeles fans and show up midway through the first half.


No matter what happens this afternoon, I’m excited about the Pac-12 games next week. USC hosts No. 4 Oregon, a game that could decide if a Pac-12 team can play in the national championship game. UCLA versus Arizona should be a sneaky little game as well.

Basically I just wanted to bring that up because Oregon was beating Colorado 14-0 before three minutes had even passed in the game. The Buffs have really improved since that terrible start though.

Yes they’re still losing 14-0, but four minutes have passed and they haven’t given up another score yet. Progress.


It’s almost game time now. Arizona just huddled in the middle of the field and are now headed back to the locker room for one last time.

If Arizona wants to pull the upset, quarterback Matt Scott needs to have himself a game. Like Cameron Moon said, the offense doesn’t need to be perfect. It just has to be close.

I’m curious to see how the defense is going to handle the talented USC offense. And when I say talented, I mean it.


Obviously this is a huge game for Arizona. The Wildcats have beaten one ranked team this season (No. 18 Oklahoma State) and were close against Stanford and Oregon State, but don’t forget the last time they played a top 10 team (a 49-0 shellacking in Eugene, Ore.)

I don’t think this will be a blowout, but Arizona needs to come out sharp and score early.


Good morning! We’re live blogging here from Arizona Stadium as the Wildcats (4-3, 1-3 Pac-12) take on No. 10 USC (6-1, 4-1). Kickoff is more or less an hour and a half away but that won’t deter me from bringing you vital information before and during the game.

Information like Arizona is wearing white helmets, red jerseys and red pants. If you were following @MoonCameron20, you would have learned that 10 minutes ago.

Also, if you want even more Daily Wildcat coverage, follow us at WildcatSports, KyleJohnsonUA, ZackBlatt and the aforementioned MoonCameron20 for live tweets and added coverage.