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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Key plays from Arizona’s loss against No. 20 USC

Courtesy Mike Christy / Arizona Athletics

Arizona wide receiver Tayvian Cunningham runs towards the end zone after making a big catch against USC on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020 in Tucson, Arizona.

There were many great plays throughout this game for Arizona as well as some key plays that led to USC scoring several times and ultimately winning this game 34-30. Let’s take a look at the top three plays from this game. 

No. 3 – 34-yard TD from Grant Gunnell to Jamarye Joiner

With 8:50 left in the 1st quarter, Arizona quarterback Grant Gunnell dropped back to pass with an empty backfield. Jamarye Joiner, who was lined up in the slot, ran a drag route and got bumped by USC inside linebacker Kana’i Mauga, then continued his route across the short side of the field where Gunnell hit him in stride. From there, Joiner simply used his speed to turn the corner and get past the lone USC cornerback Max Williams. In this play, Gunnell does a great job with patience to wait for Joiner to continue to run his route but also to go through his reads, and ultimately that is what led to this score for the Wildcats. 

No. 2 – 75-yard TD from Grant Gunnell to Tayvian Cunningham

With 9:45 in the 2nd quarter, Grant Gunnell had Gary Brightwell to his left and double receivers to his left and right and dropped back to pass. The safety for USC was watching slot receiver Jamarye Joiner and sat down over the top of the corner covering Joiner. When the safety did this, this left Tayvian Cunningham wide open for the post route behind that, and Gunnell hit him right in stride. Cunningham showed his speed on this play as, after the catch, he sprinted to the endzone to complete the 75-yard touchdown that tied this game up 20-20.

No. 1 – 19-yard pass from Kedon Slovis to Amon-Ra St. Brown

With 44 seconds left in the 4th quarter, USC quarterback Kedon Slovis had USC running back Vavae Malepeai to his left and four receivers wide, doubles to the left and right. Arizona brought three rushers on the play, forcing Slovis to step up in the pocket and roll to the left a little bit. Arizona cornerback Christian Roland-Wallace read the play perfectly and went up to make a play on the ball. However, the ball went off his fingertips right into the hands of USC receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown who then was able to get up to the Arizona 8-yard line. This then turns into a touchdown for the Trojans, but ultimately if Rolland-Wallace would’ve made that interception, that would’ve given the Wildcats their first win over USC since 2012. 

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