Homecoming football preview: Arizona vs. USC


Nathanial Stenchever

The Arizona football team runs onto the field before a game against North Dakota State University on Saturday, Sept. 17, at Arizona Stadium. The Wildcats would go on to win the game 31-28 and advance their record to 2-1. 

Ryan Wohl

One of the biggest college football games of the year is happening this week: the University of Arizona Homecoming game Oct. 28.

This is a historic weekend for many reasons: football, reunions, college spirit and pride. Homecoming traditions started at Arizona in 1914 where the Wildcats defeated Pomona College 7-6. There have only been two points in the school’s history where Homecoming was canceled as a whole, and that was during World War I and World War II.

This is not just a weekend where a traditional football game is played, but one that is played while honoring legendary Wildcats of the past while partaking in historical traditions along the way.

Arizona’s mascot, Wilbur T. Wildcat, was introduced during Homecoming Weekend in November of 1959 against Texas Tech University Red Raiders.

The Homecoming parade was announced in 1929 and has been held every year during the respective Homecoming Weekend.

Last season was a special Homecoming Weekend for this Arizona football program. They beat the University of California, Berkeley Golden Bears 10-3 and broke their 20-game losing streak dating back two years.

This year, the No. 6 USC Trojans will come to Tucson to face off with the Wildcats on Oct. 29. USC is leading the all-time series between the two schools 37-8.

Arizona is currently on a nine-game losing streak against USC and hasn’t beaten them since 2012. Over the last 20 seasons, the Wildcats only have defeated the Trojans two times.

During three of the last four meetings between the two teams, Arizona has only lost by a touchdown or less.

The Wildcats are currently 3-4 on the season and are coming off of a bye week. Arizona started the season 2-1 but have recently struggled against the top tier Pac-12 teams with Oregon and Washington. Arizona’s defense has given up 98 points in the past two games and needs to improve against USC or it could get ugly.

USC is ranked No.10 in the country right now after losing their last game by one point to Utah. The Trojans have an electric offense led by Heisman candidate Caleb Williams who is 8th in the nation in touchdowns with 19 and second in interceptions with only one. USC has scored at least 30 points in six of their seven games this season.

The Wildcats are 3-2 during their previous five games during Homecoming Weekend. Arizona is coming into this game with a new mentality and a team that has recently experienced winning. They won three games during the first six weeks of the season while winning the most games since the 2019 season.

Head football coach Jedd Fisch is currently 1-0 during Homecoming Weekend and is poised to pull off the huge upset of a top-10 team in college football against USC.

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