Notebook: UA vs. USC

Arizona lost to USC on Saturday for numerous reasons. Read on for a closer look at those reasons and other statistical differences.

Arizona fell behind big early and could never fully recover as the Wildcats dropped their ninth straight contest against FBS competition when USC defeated UA 48-41. With the loss, Arizona drops to 1-4 overall and 0-3 in the Pac-12

The Wildcats trailed 17-0 after one quarter, but attempted to make a comeback beginning in the second quarter. UA ended up cutting the Trojans' lead to seven but Southern California's offense was able to score virtually at will throughout the day and made a potential comeback too tough of a task for UA to overcome. Quarterback Nick Foles had another huge game statistically, but the Arizona defense couldn't do enough to keep USC out of the end zone.

  • Foles completed 41 out of 53 pass attempts for 425 yards and four touchdowns. The Arizona field general threw two early interceptions in the contest that set UA's offense back a bit, but came alive in the second half when he helped the Wildcats claw their way back into the game. Unfortunately it was too little too late and UA fell short at the end.

  • Foles' USC counterpart Matt Barkley had a record day through the air for the Trojans. Barkley finished the afternoon 32-for-39 for 468 yards and four touchdowns. Barkley's 468 yards through the air broke Southern California's previous record of 448, which was held by Carson Palmer.

  • USC wideout Robert Woods nearly broke the single-game receiving record for the Trojans, but fell just five yards short. The sophomore caught 14 passes for 255 yards and two touchdowns. Woods made an impact immediately when he took the Trojans' second play from scrimmage 82 yards for a touchdown. Woods was a nightmare all afternoon for the UA secondary and beat it in every way a receiver possibly could have.

  • Woods wasn't the only Southern California receiver to make Arizona pay. Freshman receiver Marqise Lee caught eight passes for 144 yards and a score. Lee's contribution gave Barkley another target to pick on UA with and his presence helped take a lot of pressure off of Woods.

  • UA's struggles on the defensive side of the ball continued in Los Angeles. Arizona yielded 582 yards of total offense – 468 of which came through the air. Many expected USC to come in and jam the ball down the Wildcats' throat with the run, but it was the USC passing game that did UA in.

  • Arizona did a solid job of keeping running back Marc Tyler in check. The senior only compiled 35 yards on the ground on 11 carries. Arizona looked relatively strong against the run until a late, 44-yard run by junior running back Curtis McNeil helped seal the contest for the Trojans. McNeil finished with 74 rushing yards and a touchdown on only seven carries.

  • Arizona ran the ball better this game than in its previous four. The Wildcats concluded the afternoon with 129 yards on the ground and a pair of rushing touchdowns. Keola Antolin ran for 87 yards on 15 carries to lead the way.

  • Ka'Deem Carey made an impact early in the second half. He only gained 34 yards on 12 carries, but scored two touchdowns on the ground to bring UA within striking range.

  • Foles utilized as many targets as he could, completing passes to 12 different players. It was Dan Buckner that led the way for the receivers this time. The junior finished the day with six catches for 88 yards.

  • Kicking continues to be a major problem for Arizona. Alex Zendejas struggled with extra points again, failing to connect on two of his five attempts.

  • UA's defense was routinely beat from all angles for the fourth straight week. There are seven games left in the season and if UA is going to salvage this season in any way, the defense has to figure out a way to stop letting opponents break their school's records. The Wildcats offense has proven to be able to put up points in the past two weeks, but the defense still appears to be long behind.

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