Trojans Pull Upset in Tucson Over the Wildcats


Former USC Quarterback (1986-1990) Shane Foley recaps the Trojans’ upset win in Tucson against Arizona (5-1, 2-1).

Trojans Upset Wildcats in Tucson

The “Zona Zoo” was at capacity last Saturday night for the first time in over two years for the showdown between #10 Arizona and the USC Trojans. A close game was anticipated as the last seven meetings between the two schools were decided by a touchdown or less.

Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans running back Javorius Allen (37) runs the ball in the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Trojans came out ready to play after a demoralizing last-second loss to Arizona State the previous week and Arizona was riding a huge upset win over Oregon. The Wildcats mounted a drive on their first possession but their 48-yard field goal hooked left but after a Trojan three and out, Arizona converted a 32-yard field goal to go up 3-0. USC countered with a five play, 66-yard drive capped by Buck Allen’s 34-yard touchdown scamper that put the Trojans up 7-3.

The Arizona offense answered with a ball control, 16-play drive that culminated with a 25-yard field goal that cut the lead to 7-6. After exchanging punts, Buck Allen struck again making a safety miss and rumbling for a 48-yard touchdown run to put the Trojans up 14-6.

Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans defensive end Leonard Williams (94) celebrates in the fourth quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. The Trojans defeated the Wildcats 28-26. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Late in the 2nd quarter after a questionable roughing the passer penalty, Arizona was knocking on the door right before halftime. However, on 1st and goal from the USC 7-yard line, Leonard Williams threw a blocker aside and like an uncaged animal, he exploded and laid a vicious hit on Arizona running back Terris Jones-Grigsby that separated him from the ball and from consciousness.

However, after Cody Kessler’s underthrown pass was intercepted at the USC 43-yard line; Arizona was given another opportunity to cut the lead. The Trojans again answered with Claude Pelon’s block of a 34-yard field goal attempt that ended the half.

USC took the opening drive 75 yards in 11 plays that finished with a  21-yard touchdown pass from Kessler to Nelson Agholor that gave the Trojans a commanding 21-6 lead.  After USC forced a punt, Arizona caused a fumble on Justin Davis deep in Trojan territory that set up a quick 4-play, 22-yard touchdown drive that was capped off by a 4-yard touchdown run by Jared Baker.

Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans wide receiver Nelson Agholor (15) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Casey Sapio-USA TODAY Sports

With the lead cut to 21-13, USC seized the momentum back with a balanced, time consuming 13-play, 75-yard drive that finished with a one yard touchdown plunge by Buck Allen; his third of the night.  After exchanging punts, the Arizona offense got into gear with a 41-yard touchdown on a wheel route that cut the lead to 28-20. After two USC drives stalled, Arizona “dinked and dunked” down the field against USC’s freshmen cornerbacks for a 15-play, 80-yard touchdown drive and a narrow 28-26 USC lead.

On the two-point conversion attempt, after another questionable penalty for pass interference, Leonard Williams stuffed Jared Baker for a one yard loss and the Trojans were celebrating. However, the cheers were silenced quickly with Arizona’s recovery of the onside kick by Caleb Jones. After two quick pass completions and a run to the USC 19-yard line, the Wildcats set up a 36-yard field goal for the win.  However, Coach Sarkisian iced the kicker with a timeout right before the snap and the follow up kick was wide right and the Trojans escaped a second consecutive heart-breaking finish.