Arizona defeated USC for numerous reasons on Saturday. Read on for a closer look at those reasons, who stood out, and much more.
The Arizona Wildcats beat USC Saturday afternoon 39-36. The Wildcats did that despite being down 28-13 early in the third quarter. After trailing by 15 points, Arizona scored 26 unanswered, only giving up eight to the Trojans in the final minutes of the game.
"We have been down before," David Richards said. "Our offense is explosive, so I knew would keep fighting."
There were plenty of plays in the game that could have affected the outcome. Early in the game, Sir Thomas Jackson tackled Silas Redd. When Redd fell towards the ground, he landed on the back of Jackson, rolled over, and kept running. He scored a touchdown, but the play was called back when replays showed that Redd's shoulder touched the ground.
Later in the first quarter, Fabbians Ebbele was called for holding as Ka'Deem Carey rushed into the end zone to make the score 14-0 in favor of Arizona. The flag eventually forced a John Bonano field goal.
Right before halftime, Bonano nailed a 27-yard field goal, only to see a flag on the field as it went through the goal posts. The penalty was holding and forced Arizona to kick a second field goal. This one was wide right and forced Arizona into the locker room trailing 13-21.
With seven minutes and twenty seconds left in the first quarter, Matt Scott fired a strike to Johnny Jackson, who was running a slant route. Jackson caught the pass and scored his first collegiate touchdown. It was Jackson's only catch of the day.
Both teams decided that they weren't going to play by the rules on Saturday. Arizona and USC combined for 27 penalties for a total of 246 yards. Coming into the game, USC was the most penalized team in the country.
"There were a lot of judgmental calls during the game," USC cornerback Nickell Robey said. "A lot of them could've gone one way or another. They should've analyzed the game a little bit more closely, but that's part of playing the defense – when they throw the flag."
Arizona quarterback Matt Scott left the game late in the fourth quarter after being hit in the head during a running play. He rushed for 100 yards and a score on 15 carries in addition to passing for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
"Matt is a warrior," Austin Hill said. "He gets yards for us when we need it. He runs well and he also has a great arm and gets the ball to receivers perfectly. He has been playing great and he gets better every week."
Running back Ka'Deem Carey had a game high 119 yards rushing in the upset and scored a touchdown as well. Carey also caught two passes out of the backfield for eight yards.
"I knew they were getting tired," Carey said. "I saw that the flow was going out way so we just kept pounding the ball."
Arizona wide receiver Austin Hill had his fifth consecutive game with one hundred or more receiving yards. Hill led all Arizona receivers with ten catches and 259 yards. He was kept out of the end zone, but the yardage was a new career high for the sophomore.
USC receiver Marqise Lee outdid Hill's performance. He put up record numbers in the game, catching 16 balls for 345 yards. Lee also added two touchdowns on the night, helping the Trojans pull out to a 28-13 lead at one point. However, Lee was held in check during the second half of the game.
"They had a huge weapon out there today," Arizona linebacker Jake Fischer said.
"I didn't really want to look at his stats for too long," Marquis Flowers said.
Two trends continued on Saturday afternoon. Arizona scored on The Opening drive when Jackson caught an eight yard pass from Matt Scott. The Wildcats went on to win the game and that makes their record 5-0 when scoring on the first offensive series of the game.
In addition, USC lost the game after drubbing Colorado last weekend. So far this season, every team that has beaten Colorado followed the win up with a loss the next weekend.
The Arizona defense allowed 618 total yards to the USC offense, yet still managed to win the game. A big part of that was the five turnovers that the Wildcats forced. It was the most turnovers Arizona's defense has forced since 2008 against Idaho.
Leading the defense was junior linebacker Marquis Flowers. Flowers intercepted two Matt Barkley passes and also caused a Silas Redd fumble early in the game.
"Some were tips and some were just being in the right place," Flowers said. "It was just an overall great day for us. The fumbles and interceptions gave us a lot of momentum. The defense stepped up, but we have to come out next week and do better."