Game Log: Valiant Effort

The Cats gave it there all and showed that the Mike Stoops rebuilding project is headed the right way. Arizona was down just seven early in the fourth and played well with the Trojans for most of the game. USC was clearly better, but the Cats never gave up.

13:58 in the first
Two runs and a dropped pass. Not great, but it does work the clock. Baugher booms a big kick that dies at the two. 56-yard kick, 56-yard net. No Bush return. 13:23 in the first
USC is out of the hole, they got 34-yards on the opening play. Leinart just dropped a perfect pass down the sideline to get the Trojans out of the shadow of the goalpost.

10:14 in the first
Well, the Cats held USC but the Trojans go for it on 4th and seven and convert. The Cats put NO pressure on Leinart and he finds Jarrett down field. They have now converted on a third and fourth down.

9:12 in the first
Lendale White walks in the Arizona. The end crashed and the interior line crashed the inside gaps, so White just bounced outside and no one was there. At least they made the Trojans take 4:00 off the clock and limited the Trojans to just one big play. The bad news is that the Trojans just marched 98 yards.

They came back from the break and was thanking his entire family including about half a dozen uncles. If they had kept the camera on him he may have just opened the Los Angeles phone book and started thanking all of the "A's".

8:07 in the first
Cats convert on fourth and two inches, but Kovalcheck go pasted after he crossed the line of scrimmage. He wound up two yards behind the line of scrimmage after the initial push.

5:54 in the first
Good news: Cats pick up the blitz.
Bad news: RK throws a short pass on third and long and Steptoe has his second drop of the game.

When did Petros Papadakis change to the long A in the pronunciation of his name? It used to be Papa-Dock-Is, now it is Papa-DAY-kiss.

1:55 in the first
USC is moving the ball, but the Cats are making it tough on them. To my eyes the Cats seem to need a big time DT and a play making LB (Ronnie Palmer?) from having a very good defense. Byron Smith was supposed to be that guy, but so far they don't have a dominating DT that can force a double team.

1:19 in the first
The Cats get a break. Young Desmond Reed coughs it up and former USC signee Johnathan Turner gets the recovery.

1:07 in the first
On the previous play RK was flushed and smartly ran out of bounds. On the very next play he threw a lame duck to no one and it was almost picked.

:07 in the first
The Cats tied the game! Repeat: the Cats tied the game! With just seconds left in the first the Cats are tied 7-7. There is a long way to go, but this is a moral victory.

End of the first quarter
Cats tied 7-7. Each team has had just two possessions and limiting possessions is a key to winning this game.

14:30 in the second
Another turnover. Fontenot picks off Leinart and almost runs it back. Cats have the ball at midfield. 12:40 in the second
Cats have third and five. RK throws a high, but catchable pass. Anthony Johnson can't haul it in and the Cats will punt. That's the third drop of the game.

12:30 in the second
Three punts, three times Baugher has pinned the Trojans inside the 10. The first two were inside the five, the third only rolled out of bounds at the eight.

9:27 in the second
The Cats gave up a chunk of yards, but force a punt. Copeland Bryan was held and still nearly got a sack. In fact it looked as if Leinart grounded the ball. On third down he threw into triple coverage and it was close to being the Cats' third take away of the game.

5:40 in the second
Cats actually establish the run, but stall near the 40. The Cats run almost 4:00 off the clock. This time Baugher pins the Trojans at the 11 thanks to a fair catch by Bush. A nice drive considering the Cats started inside their own five.

1:17 in the second
Cats play well, but not well enough on defense. The Trojans take the lead on a nice throw by Leinart to Jarrett on third and long, but it takes them 4:30 to drive down the field and they only lead by seven.

The coverage was not bad by Michael Johnson, but Leinart had all day to throw and Jarrett got in front of Johnson at the last moment.

14:35 in the third
Once again the Cats pin the Trojans deep, but once again the Trojans get out of it with one play. A huge run by Lendale white has USC over midfield.

11:51 in the third
Trojans stroll down the field for an 85-yard touchdown drive. Even when the Cats have USC pinned in the backfield the RB's make a defender miss and get five yards. So far the Trojans have outscored their opponents 84-7 in the third quarter.

11:46 in the third
Steptoe had been good up to this point, but he took the ball out of the endzone and danced instead of running hard. They start at their own seven. Not good.

Wait, the Cats scored! The Cats scored! Money Mike slips behind the USC defenders and hauls in a 40+ yard catch. Cats are only down 21-14.

4:23 in the third
The Trojans storm right back. A big pass play on the misdirection get them inside the 20 and Lendale White powers in from the one. Cats still hanging around, down just 28-14.

4:09 in the third
Steptoe was gone! He broke three tackles and is off to the races when he fell on his own at the USC 20. Great field position though!

1:47 in the third
Cats score! They go for it on fourth and four and Johnson hangs onto a pass he bobbles. Then on second and goal Kovalcheck throws a bad ball the Gilbert Harris hangs onto.

9:59 in the fourth
After another USC td the Cats drive inside the USC 10. They face a fourth and one but Kovalcheck tries to force a pass to Wood at the goal line that is tipped and intercepted. The Cats were just a few yards to cutting this one back to a score.

8:22 in the fourth
USC's Bush just busted off a 70 yard run. Michael Johnson catches him from behind but they are deep in UA territory.

7:59 in the fourth
That's it. White's third td ices this one. The Cats put up a hell of a fight, but the Trojan offense is too good and they lead 42-21 despite a hell of an effort by the Wildcats. Call this one a moral victory.

2:43 in the fourth
Both teams have cleared the bench. The Cats defense is trying to prevent a late score, but the Trojan reserves are marching.

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