USC vs. Arizona: Trojans Tame Wildcats, Win 38-31 In First Game of Ed Orgeron Era


Oct 10, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Southern California Trojans tailback Tre Madden (23) is pursued by Arizona Wildcats cornerback Jonathan McKnight (6) on a 62-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The fourth quarter had barely started when Buck Allen trotted ran four yards into the endzone for his second score of the night, which carried USC’s lead to 38-17.

USC’s stable of running backs really put on a show against Arizona: five different running backs touched the ball, for nearly 200 yards of offense amongst them.

Arizona put nothing together on its next drive, which was the case for them for most of the night. USC got the ball again and after eating some clock time, they punted and gave Arizona the ball back.

The Wildcats sustained a 17-play, 96-yard drive to get into USC territory, and ultimately scored. B.J. Denker was forced out of the pocket and scrambled, but he found David Richards in the back of the endzone for the touchdown.

USC didn’t do anything with its next offensive possession, allowing the Wildcats to stay in the game, with five minutes left to play. When the Trojans punted, Arizona took over on USC’s 42-yard line, and threatened to make this a lot closer than USC wanted.

Sure enough, Denker found Garic Wharton–who beat three Trojan defenders–for 28 yards and another Wildcats score. Within seven points, Arizona looked poised to turn this game on its head.

With thee minutes left, Silas Redd led the Trojans on the kind of drive it needed to secure the victory: he kept his legs moving to earn the first down and in doing so, he kept the clock running. With 1:38 to go, Coach Ed Orgeron called a timeout as USC faced 3rd-and-8. When the Trojans came back onto the field, Silas Redd picked up the first down and with it, he sealed the win for USC. It was a fitting way for him to begin his 2013 season, having missed the first five games with a knee injury.

Arizona gave the Trojans a scare–and so did the Trojan secondary, for that matter–but USC prevailed to win their first Pac-12 game of the season. They advance to 4-2, and will leave the Coliseum with a nice win in Coach Orgeron’s first game as interim head coach.

USC ended the night with 546 rushing yards, though the defense gave up 506 itself. Cody Kessler completed 15 of 30 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns. The Trojan running backs combined for 249 yards and three touchdowns on 45 carries across five ball carriers. Through the air, Nelson Agholor led the effort with seven receptions for 161 yards and a touchdown.