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

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Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive end Leonard Williams (94) and defensive tackle Antwaun Woods (99) celebrate a second quarter fumble recovery against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


Pac-12 refs have a pretty poor reputation already, but they were particularly bad in their handling of the Trojans and the Wildcats. Aside from the vast discrepancy in number of flags thrown — 12 to USC, 4 to Arizona — the referees made some major and questionable calls which nearly affected the outcome of the game.

First, there was the sequence involving Anu Solomon’s illegal forward pass. The refs announced the foul against the Wildcat quarterback, reviewed his placement at the line of scrimmage at the time of the pass and then reversed the call. That’s routine. What isn’t routine is turning around and deciding that because said penalty had been reversed they were then going to assess a personal foul late hit on the Trojans.

That might have been the most egregious of the head-scratching moments, but a phantom kick-catch interference call wiped out a muffed punt and recovery by the Trojans. Then letting Cayleb Jones get away with illegal batting of his fumble out of bounds kept the Wildcats out of a hole on their final touchdown drive. The pass interference on Arizona’s uncatchable two-point conversion turned out to be moot as the Trojans stopped the ensuing attempt but it was no less mindblowing a call.

Kevon Seymour and Chris Hawkins had a lot to prove this week after their contributions to USC’s meltdown at the Coliseum. Unfortunately, they both proved the goat once again as Solomon targeted both with success. Of course, all corners get beat from time to time, and neither gave up a big or devastating play, but they were the weak points in the USC defensive performance. The Trojans gave up 395 yards through the air, much of which was down to the cornerbacks.

Hawkins in particular continues to struggle with penalties.

Arizona’s kicker Casey Skowron had a night to forget. It’s not just the three missed field goals, two of which were good on the first go but failed on the second. It’s that he shanked the most important one of the night when it could have won his team the game.

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