Arizona heads to town to take on the USC Trojans in the Coliseum in yet another nighttime showdown. There is some bad blood between Arizona Head Coach Jedd Fisch and the Trojans. Fisch was quoted saying “It’s Personal” referring to this game after players of his transferred to USC this past December.
Looking Ahead To USC vs Arizona – What To Expect
University Of Arizona: A Scrappy Squad
Arizona is coming off a 31-24 loss to the undefeated Washington Huskies who, for the most part, stayed in the game despite not having their starting Quarterback Jayden De Laura who went down with an ankle injury against Stanford.
Redshirt Freshman Noah Fifita started last week for an injured De Laura throwing for 232 yards and 3 touchdowns. It’s been reported that if De Laura is healthy he’ll start, but either way, USC needs to be prepared because it looks like freshman QB or not, they’re going to take some shots. Arizona only has two losses this year both by only one score, they will not go away quietly.
Jedd Fisch: Offensive Guru
Although Fisch may not be as innovative as Lincoln Riley he is still a widely respected offensive mastermind. Fisch was a part of the 2018 Los Angeles Rams who set records on the offensive side and has been on multiple NFL staffs in the past 20 years. One thing about this Arizona offense is they’re going to throw the ball. Now this offense is a true “pro style” offense which means you’ll see the QB under center a majority of the time yet they keep up tempo as they move the chains. It’ll be interesting to see how he attacks this Grinch-led defense.
With now-Trojan Dorian Singer gone after leading the Pac-12 in receiving yards, you’d think a big hole would need to be filled for Arizona. They were able to fill that hole and fast. This receiving corps during Singer’s tenure also had Four-star Freshman Tetairoa McMillan and Junior Jacob Cowing. Both wideouts combined for over 1,700 yards receiving last year even with Singer leading the conference. With Cowing now a Senior and McMillan a sophomore they look to keep it going regardless of who’s throwing the ball.
Wildcat Defense Good?
Now the Wildcats are 3-2 so they don’t exactly have an insane lockdown defense, there are definitely some deficiencies, one of them being this secondary. Interestingly enough, the Wildcats have only allowed 3 passing touchdowns all coming from Week 2 against Mississippi State so take that for what it’s worth.
We can get into how the other aspects of this defense are doing but if they’ve lost 2 games while only allowing 3 passing touchdowns that should give you an idea they’re not as effective. This can be a promising stat for USC or one that will cause problems considering Riley wants more of a balance to the offense and to see the run game develop. We’ll see if this secondary can keep Caleb Williams and company out of the end zone.
In this game, we’ll truly see if Alex Grinch can make the correct defensive adjustments for this Arizona offense that likes to keep the game close. Look for Lincoln Riley to test this secondary if the run game isn’t there.