Trojans Fall Despite Lee Breaking Records

After suffering a 39-36 loss on the road to Arizona, USC falls to 6-2 on the season.

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Marqise Lee caught every pass thrown to him on Saturday.

The only ball he didn't catch came on the final play of the game. USC trailing 39-36, time on the clock expiring, and Matt Barkley heaves a Hail Mary into the end zone.

Lee might think he can do it all, but even after a day of perfection, he couldn't pull in a miracle.

"I should've caught the ball," he said after the game. "That's it. I should've caught the ball."

"But it was a Hail Mary," he was asked. "But it was still an opportunity to catch the ball," he answered. The fact that it was indeed a Hail Mary didn't matter to the sophomore receiver, who caught 16 passes for a Pac-12 record 345 yards. The ball was in the air, Lee expected to come down with it.

For the second time this season USC, the No. 9 team in the BCS Standings, is forced to board a plane back to Los Angeles after an upset loss.

"It was a very discouraging loss," Kiffin said after the game. "It wasn't about effort. I thought our players had great effort. We made a lot of mistakes and weren't able to catch up."

"A lot of mistakes" might have been the understatement of the afternoon. The Trojans committed 13 penalties for a total of 117 yards. The head coach thought his team hit rock bottom after the penalty plagued effort against Colorado just a week ago, when they drew a flag 10 times, resulting in 90 lost yards.

But Saturday afternoon in Tucson proved even rock bottom could find new depths.

"The mistakes were discouraging," Kiffin said. As the penalties began stacking up, so did the turnovers. Barkley threw two interceptions, the tailbacks put the ball on the ground twice, even a safety turned the ball over after grabbing an interception.

Though the mistakes may have been discouraging, the Trojans almost overcame them all.

What they couldn't overcome was a 26-0 run led by Arizona quarterback Matt Scott, starting in the third quarter.

"I imagined they would have been able to score like they did," Kiffin said. "They're a great offense and they can score a lot of points."

Scott finished 27-of-50 for 369 yards, including three touchdowns and an interception. He also rushed for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Barkley completed 31-of-49 pass attempts for 493 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions.

USC falls to 6-2 on the season. They return to Los Angeles for their final four games of the season, hosting Oregon next Saturday. Top Stories