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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona football welcomes USC for Family Weekend

Rebecca Noble

Arizona safety Will Parks (11) takes down USC tailback Ronald Jones II (25) at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on Nov. 7, 2015. The Wildcats face USC this Saturday looking to snap a three-game losing streak.

With Family Weekend occurring in Tucson, the Arizona Wildcats welcome the USC Trojans to Arizona Stadium on Saturday at 12:30 p.m.

If recent history is any indication for this game, it will come down to a possession or two. The last nine games between these two teams have been decided by eight points or less with USC winning six of those eight games.

Arizona is free falling at the moment with a three-game losing streak that has them in last in the Pac-12 South. At 2-4, they are two games back in the division and still have not won a game in conference play. Despite this, the Wildcats are keeping an optimistic outlook on the remainder of the season.

“We are always confident, no team is going to win the Pac-12 outright because it is a competitive league,” said Paul Magloire.

Last week they started off strong, with a score on the game’s opening play, but fell at Utah 36-23. Quarterback Brandon Dawkins left the game permanently in the third quarter and freshman Khalil Tate replaced him.

Dawkins is battling a rib injury that may have him miss the game and allow Khalil Tate to get his first start. In the two games Tate has seen action, he has gone 10-17 for 177 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. He has also added yardage on the ground with 25 carries for 112 yards for the Wildcats.

Whichever quarterback gets the start will also be called upon to help bolster Arizona’s running game. J.J. Taylor is out with an ankle injury while Nick Wilson has been hampered by an ankle injury himself.

Taylor and Wilson are just two of the many players on Arizona’s injury list that has decreased from last week’s 28.

“Well there was 25, on the list and now there is a couple of new ones but it is frustrating because it just happens,” said head coach Rich Rodriguez. “ You hope you get a little bit of luck but we will have an open date after this game so hopefully we can get a couple of guys back,” he added.

USC is coming off of a 21-17 over then 21st ranked Colorado and looks to remain in the thick of the Pac-12 South race. The Trojans are 3-3 and sit one game out of first in the loss column and look to finish strong

USC’s biggest offensive threat is Juju Smith-Schuster, a wide receiver with 31 catches for 433 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Adoree Jackson is another big name for USC and is a jack-of-all-trades kind of player. While he mainly plays cornerback, he is threat to score on offense, defense, or special teams for the Trojans. He has returned a kick, a punt, an interception, and caught a touchdown in his three years at USC. The Wildcats have to account for Jackson at all times and not give him opportunities to make game-changing plays on Saturday.

Arizona gets a bye week next week before Stanford visits on October 22nd. 

Follow Ivan Leonard on Twitter.

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