Despite a valiant effort, Arizona fell short to the USC Trojans Saturday night as Ronald Jones was too much in a 38-30 road loss.
Arizona and USC both went three and out before the Wildcats once again could not get a first down and USC took over on its own 41.
JuJu Smith-Schuster caught a seven-yard pass and Steven Mitchell followed with one of his own.
Ronald Jones ran for three yards before Adoree Jackson lost two on a reception. Smith-Schuster then gained 15 yards for a first down, but a fumble on the next play gave the Wildcats possession on their own 45.
USC was called for illegal hands to the face on first down. Anu Solomon then ran for three yards and added 13 on second down.
Jared Baker ran for four yards and followed it with a gain of nine. Two plays later, Solomon found Nate Phillips for a nine-yard touchdown as the extra point put the Wildcats up 7-0 with 5:45 left in the first quarter.
USC went three and out because of a sack by Tellas Jones and Arizona got the ball on its own 39.
Johnny Jackson caught a 24-yard pass on first down, but two sacks quickly ended the drive. Once again, however, Arizona got the ball back three downs later and took over on its own 40.
Baker ran for 19 yards and Phillips caught a five-yard pass. Baker then ran for five more and two plays later, Jackson had a 23-yard reception.
The Trojans were called for defensive holding and a two-yard run by Bradford ended the first quarter with the Wildcats up 7-0.
On the first play of the quarter, Richards caught a three-yard touchdown as the extra point put the Wildcats up 14-0.
USC took the ball on its own 27 and started with an 18-yard pass to Tyler Petite. Jones then ran for five yards and two plays later, Jackson caught a 42-yard pass.
The Trojans were called for an illegal snap and Jones ran for five yards on the next play. After two incomplete passes, USC settled for a 25-yard field goal to cut the lead to 14-3 with 11:35 left in the first half.
Arizona started on its own 28 with a two-yard pass to Jackson. Baker ran for 15 yards and then added four more.
Phillips caught a 29-yard pass, but Solomon threw an interception two plays later. On first down, Smith-Schuster caught a 72-yard touchdown and the extra point brought the Trojans within 14-10 with 9:15 left in the half.
USC tried an onside kick, but Arizona recovered an the Trojans were called offsides, giving the Wildcats the ball on their own 46.
Richards caught a 28-yard pass on first down and Baker ran for five. An incomplete pass on third down then led to a 47-yard field goal by Casey Skowron that put Arizona up 17-10 with 8:12 remaining in the first half.
USC started on its own 18 with an 18-yard rush by Davis. Smith-Schuster then caught a six-yard pass and two plays later, Jones ran for 11.
On third down, Mitchell caught a nine-yard pass. Davis then got the first down with a two-yard run.
Jones ran for eight yards on two consecutive plays and after an incomplete pass, Smith-Schuster had a 15-yard reception.
On the next play, Jones scored on a five-yard pass and the extra point tied the game at 17 with 2:56 left in the half.
Arizona took possession on its own 28 and on second down Richards caught an 11-yard pass. After an incomplete pass, Jackson gained nine and then seven more.
However, the Wildcats did not get anything else going and the game went into the half tied at 17.
USC gained four yards on first down and punted two plays later. A personal foul then gave Arizona the ball on USC’s 30.
Baker ran for one yard on first down and Jackson caught a 20-yard pass on second. A sack then stopped the drive, but a 38-yard field goal by Skowron put Arizona up 20-17 early in the third quarter.
USC got the ball on its own 36 and started with a nine-yard run by Jones. After a gain of two, Davis ran for 11 yards.
Two plays later, Smith-Schuster picked up five and Jones ran for five more on the next play. Cody Kessler then threw an incomplete pass and Jones ran for six. On third down, Taylor McNamara caught a six-yard pass for the first down.
USC eventually went for the 34-yard field goal, but it missed to the right and Arizona took over on its own 20.
Baker ran for one yard and Grant caught a seven-yard pass. Bradford then gained three for the first down.
Phillips caught a ten-yard pass and Solomon ran for four. Phillips gained five more, but the drive stalled when Arizona failed to convert on fourth down.
USC took over on the 50 and Davis started the drive with a two-yard run. On third down, Mitchell picked up the first with an eight-yard gain.
Deontay Burnett lost six on the next play, but De’Quan Hampton picked up ten and a 27-yard run by Jones ended the quarter with the Trojans driving.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, Davis scored on a nine-yard run and the extra point put the Trojans up 24-20.
Arizona and USC exchanged three and outs before the Wildcats took over on their own 20. After a false start, Jerrard Randall lost three yards from the running back spot.
Richards caught a 22-yard pass and Phillips added 36 more. After an incomplete pass, Baker gained five.
Solomon was sacked on third down, but a 44-yard field goal saved the drive and cut USC’s lead to 24-23 with 10:05 left.
It did not take USC long to score from its own 20, as Jones gained six and then followed it up with a 73-yard touchdown run with the extra point putting the Trojans up 31-23 with 9:24 left.
Tyrell Johnson returned it to the USC 41, but a fumble and a false start badly hurt Arizona. On second down, Baker caught a six-yard pass. Arizona was then forced to punt after an incomplete pass and USC took over on its own 30.
Davis ran for two yards two plays in a row and Hampton caught a five-yard pass for the first down.
Jones then ran for three and one more before Smith-Schuster got the first down with an 11-yard grab.
USC got four more from Jones and Davonte Neal was called for a facemark on the next play. Two plays later, Davis ran for six and then added a 16-yard touchdown with 2:35 left as the extra point put the Trojans up 38-23.
Later in the game, Arizona would add a touchdown by Cayleb Jones, but by then it was too late, as the onside kick with ten seconds left went out of bounds.