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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


3 ways to win, 3 ways to lose: UA vs USC

Tyler Baker

Arizona redshirt freshman Anu Solomon (12) stands in the pocket during Arizona’s 31-24 win against then-No. 2 Oregon at Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Ore., on Oct. 2. If Arizona is going to win its sixth straight game on Saturday, Solomon needs to continue to take care of the ball and limit turnovers.

3 ways to win

by Roberto Payne

Keep on keeping on

Arizona has won five straight games to open the season just five times before this year. Behind a powerful offense and a defense that gets timely stops, the sky is the limit. With the USC Trojans coming to town, there is just one goal: Keep on keeping on.

After scoring “only” 31 points against Oregon last week, the Wildcats dropped to fourth in the Pac-12 Conference in scoring with 39.8 points per game. What a luxury that scoring 31 points is considered below average.

Rich Rodriguez is looking to make a real impact in his third year at the helm of the Arizona program, and his team has the perfect chance to make this season one to remember as long as the offense keeps up its current level of play.

Torch the Trojans

USC is third in the conference in scoring defense per game at 21.6 points, fourth in yards allowed per game at 391.8 and first in total interceptions with seven. However, the Trojans haven’t faced an offense of Arizona’s caliber yet this season. The closest thing they’ve faced is an ASU team without Taylor Kelly.

ASU dropped 38 points and a game-winning Hail Mary on the Trojans in that one.

Behind the arm of Anu Solmon and legs of Nick Wilson and Terris Jones-Grigsby, there’s no way USC can contain the Wildcats.Look for the two-headed monster of Wilson and Jones-Grigsby to dominate yet again.

Scooby snacks

All Scooby Wright III does is make plays.

From snacking on opposing quarterbacks (ask Marcus Mariota about that) to racking up tackles faster than you can say “Scooby Dooby Doo,” Scooby Wright III has established himself as the emotional leader of the Arizona defense.

He has had at least seven tackles in all five games and leads the Wildcats in total tackles (58), sacks (five) and tackles for loss (eight). Not too shabby for a two-star recruit.

Every time Scooby snacks, the Wildcats win. If he does it again against USC, the Trojans will be saying “Jinkies” come Sunday morning.

3 ways to lose

by James Kelley


It’s been over a week since the No. 10 Wildcats beat then-No. 2 Oregon on the road, and that’s plenty of time to get big heads from national media praise.

Arizona’s MO under head coach Rich Rodriguez is to get big wins and then lose badly in the next game.

Last year after they beat then-No. 5 Oregon 42-16, the Wildcats lost to ASU 58-21.

The last time Arizona was ranked, it lost 66-10 to UCLA in 2012, Rodriguez’s first season. Early in 2012, the Wildcats were also ranked, but they lost 49-0 to Oregon in their first action against an FBS team since entering the top 25.

Agholor doesn’t get tired

When asked what USC receiver Nelson Agholor was able to do last year against the UA, Rodriguez said, “Anything he wanted.”

Rodriguez joked that the game plan in 2012 against receiver Marqise Lee was to let him “get half a mile and then cramps.” In Arizona’s 39-36 win over USC in Tucson, Lee caught 16 passes for 345 yards, a Pac-12 Conference record.

Rodriguez wondered aloud if they had a similar plan with Agholor last year. In USC’s 38-31 win in Los Angeles, Agholor caught seven balls for 161 yards.

The Wildcats are 116th in the nation in pass defense, giving up 296.6 yards a game, and 114th in pass efficiency defense.

Williams wreaks havoc

On offense, the Wildcats have to deal with Trojan All-American junior defensive end Leonard Williams.Rodriguez said that thankfully Williams is the type of talent they don’t face that often.

“You’re talking about a guy that’s [6-foot-6], 300 pounds, that’s as fast as our skill players,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a first rounder and going to be playing for a long time, and, thankfully, we don’t see them all the time.”

This season, Williams has 30 tackles, two sacks and an interception. He had 12 tackles last year in Los Angeles. Williams is on the watch list for six national awards.


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