Quick Hits: Arizona 39, No. 9 USC 36
Trojans lose to Wildcats for the first time since 2009.
ARIZONA WON: Matt Scott piled up 469 yards of total offense to lead Arizona (5-3) to a wild 39-36 upset win over No. 9 USC (6-2) in Tucson. The Wildcats, down 28-13 early in the third quarter, scored 26 unanswered points to take control of the game, and then held off a furious Trojan comeback to snag their first win over USC in Tucson since 2000. The teams combined for 1,206 yards of total offense, but showed sloppiness in also combining for 27 penalties and six turnovers. Trojan wide out Marqise Lee set a Pac-12 record with 345 receiving yards on 16 catches, while Matt Barkley broke his own school mark with 493 yards passing, but he threw two costly picks. Wildcats receiver Austin Hill had 10 catches for 259 yards and running back Ka'Deem Carey had 119 yards rushing. The win by Arizona means the race for the Pac-12 Southern division title is wide open.
WHEN ARIZONA WON: Following a Wildcats punt, USC had the ball on its own 12 yard line with 55 seconds left. Barkley hit three consecutive passes to get the ball to the Arizona 49-yard line, but he let a remarkable amount of time elapse between plays. USC had just 19 seconds left when Barkley attempted a slow-developing deep pass play to Lee, who was unable to catch up to the ball near the Arizona goal line. Suddenly, there were five seconds left to play and USC found itself forced to try a hail mary pass. Barkley's throw glanced off Lee's hands in the end zone and Arizona came away with the win. USC's big mistake was not spiking the ball sooner to stop the clock in hopes of hitting a quick out that would have put them in field goal range. In a closely-fought game, USC's clock management at the end was the difference.
WHY ARIZONA WON: Down 28-13 early in the third quarter, the Wildcats didn't panic. Instead, they rattled off 26 unanswered points to take a 39-28 lead. In that stretch, the Wildcat offense was unstoppable, totaling 229 yards and four touchdowns. They then survived the loss of Scott, who left the game with four minutes left due to a concussion, gaining two critical two first downs that drained three minutes off the clock to put USC in a precarious position. The Arizona defense also forced five Trojan turnovers and two turnovers on downs, which led to 24 Wildcat points. USC's sloppiness and inconsistent second-half play played right into Arizona's hands.
WHAT ARIZONA WON: This was Rich Rodriguez's first marquee win at Arizona and it kept the Wildcats in the hunt for the Pac-12 southern division title. It also validated the notion that this team is much better than its record indicates as Arizona has two losses by just nine points. This program has a bright future under Rodriguez.
WHAT USC LOST: USC can kiss its longshot national title hopes good bye and Barkley can forget about the Heisman. At this point, the Pac-12 south title, long thought to be a fait accompli, is in serious doubt.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Scott's 469 yards of total offense was just 33 yards short of the USC-opponent single-game record of 502 yards set by Notre Dame's Joe Theismann in 1970. Scott had a real shot at breaking that mark before leaving the game with a concussion in the fourth quarter.
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