USC vs. Arizona: Who Were the Studs and Who Were the Duds

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Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

Saturday night’s USC vs. Arizona game was a clinic in high drama. The Trojans ultimately outlasted the Wildcats despite nearly blowing a 15-point fourth quarter lead, as Arizona missed a field goal in the final minute that would’ve won the game.

How were the standouts for good and bad reasons, you ask? We got you covered.


Buck Allen had the best game of his career on Saturday, with a career-high 205 rushing yards on 26 carries, to go along with three touchdowns.

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He was quite simply the heartbeat of the USC offense and the only consistent forced that the Trojans had all night. When he was getting lanes from the USC offensive line, he was exploding through them for big gains.

And even when he didn’t have much to work with, he was slashing, fighting, handchecking and muscling his way for extra yardage, proving he’s become the definition of a combo back.

Futhermore, the Pac-12’s rushing leader cemented his status as the best USC running back since LenDale White and Reggie Bush.

Leonard Williams made his biggest impact since the Stanford game in Week 2. And perhaps it wasn’t a fluke that it came against another highly ranked team on the road.

The Lombardi candidate had a monster game with eight tackles, two sacks and two tackles for loss. His stick on Terris Jones-Grigsby in the second quarter forced a fumble that kept Arizona off the board and helped allow the Trojans take a lead to halftime.

Claude Pelon makes his first appearance in the studs and duds solely due to his blocked field goal at the end of the first half.

At the time, it sent the Trojans to the half with a 14-6 lead. But after the game played out, it might end up being the biggest play of the game, as the Wildcats ultimately came up just two points short.

A field goal at the end of the first half may have very well won the game. Pelon’s mitts prevented that from happening.

Nelson Agholor had seven catches for 81 yards and a touchdown, and was routinely finding space in the Arizona defense for extra yardage. His 21-yard touchdown catch early in the first quarter helped set the tone for a big third quarter as the Trojans opened up what turned out to be an insurmountable 15-point second half lead.

Continue on to the next page to view the duds…