Welcome to the USC Trojans vs Arizona Wildcats Live Blog! Ryan Dyrud is live and in person at the Coli, and will be providing updates throughout the game. Plus make sure to interact and vote on all the polls below throughout the game!
The USC offense received the ball to begin the game. An incomplete pass, a short run from Marshawn Lynch, and Williams scramble out of bounds lead to a 3-and-out. Not a great start for the Trojans.
Uninspiring opening drive for the USC defense, but they are able to hold Arizona to a field goal. SC trailing for the first time this season.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
After the Arizona Wildcats moved methodically down the field, SC’s defense was able to hold them to a field goal. This is the first time in the 2023 season that USC has trailed in a game.
After a pass interference on the first play of the Trojans offensive possession, USC is forced to punt after only gaining 3 yards. Caleb Williams is currently 1-4 with 3 yards passing. Not an ideal start.
Arizona faced a 3rd and 8 and was able to convert with an 8-yard completion. The Wildcats then faced a 3rd and 5 and came up a yard short on the completion. They go for it on 4th and 1 and convert. The drive continues.
Touchdown Wildcats. Jacob Cowing was pretty much wide open on a post route. USC now trails 10-0.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
Another 3 and out for the Trojans. Tahj Washington had a step for the first down, but Williams overthrew it just a bit. The offense has 10 total yards on its first 3 possessions. Not great.
With Arizona deep in their own territory, USC had an opportunity to force a 3 and out and take some momentum back. The Wildcats converted another 3rd down to sustain the drive. And converted another one 3 plays later.
At the end of the 1st quarter, SC is losing 10-0. They have only 1 first down, thanks to a penalty, and have 10 total yards. Defensively, they have given up 140 yards, and have allowed Arizona to go 3-5 on 3rd down.
It’s almost as if roles have been reversed. The Arizona offense looks like what the USC offense has looked like all season. They are moving the ball at will and just punched it in the end zone again to take a 17-0 lead. USC better wake up quick, not only to attempt to save an undefeated season but to save face from being blown out.
Williams to Rice for 53 yards. On the very next play, Caleb Williams fumbles. Arizona ball. What is happening?— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
Alright, this game is getting strange now. Caleb Williams fumbles after finally garnering a big play. Two plays later, Arizona gives the ball right back on an interception from Jacobe Covington.
SC with the ball in the red zone. They have to punch it in on this possession.
Caleb Williams takes it in himself on a 3-yard carry. Critical possession there for USC and they are able to get on the board. We will see if the defense can keep the momentum. @USC_LAFB— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
After a sack from Jamil Muhammad, the SC defense is unable to get off the field after Arizona converts ANOTHER third down. Simple dump-off pass that went for 27 yards. On the next play, Muhammad notches another sack, this one for 12 yards. Facing a 3rd and 23, this time SC plays stifling defense and forces a punt. Back-to-back stops (the first was a turnover) for the USC defense. Trojans ball at the 11-yard line.
With some momentum, and an opportunity to cut the game to one-score, the USC offense goes 3 and out. This is the worst we have seen the offense execute since Lincoln Riley and Caleb Williams came to town.
The one bright spot so far is that USC has 3 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. They have looked much better after sleep walking the first 3 possessions. Offense has to get going now.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
The USC defense is starting to come alive. After another sack, this one courtesy of Braylan Shelby, they force a 3 and out. A shanked punt gives Caleb Williams and the offense the ball at the 35-yard line. You have to think that the offense is going to snap out of their funk eventually and put a drive together. Now would be a great time to do that.
WHAT A CATCH from Brenden Rice. He is really establishing himself as WR1 in this offense. 2nd and long and he climbs the ladder over the defender to make the play. Puts the offense in the red zone.
TOUCHDOWN Trojans. Caleb Williams scrambles to the right and finds Kyron Hudson who makes a really tough catch falling forward with a defender blanketing him.
It was a really poor first-half performance for the Trojans, but they are able to get to the locker room only down 3, scoring 14 unanswered points. Have to come out with a fire in the 2nd half.
Halftime score: Arizona 17, USC 14
Out of the half, Arizona has two explosive plays right off the bat and moves the ball down to the 10-yard line. They tighten up and force a 4th and 5. Arizona looked like they were going to go for it, but after calling a time-out, settled for the field goal pushing the score to 20-14.
Arizona now has 331 yards with 10:20 left in the 3rd quarter.
The USC offense still looks out of sync. Credit to the Arizona defense, but no receiver can get any separation. Thanks to a defensive pass interference, and a roughing the passer, SC is able to make them pay as Marshawn Lloyd scores from nine yards out. For how bad USC has played, they now lead the game 21-20.
Caleb Williams is 4-11 with 92 yards passing. The offense as a whole only has 163 yards. Yet, they now lead the game.
Bear Alexander with a FANTASTIC pass rush on that 3rd down forcing an incompletion. Arizona punting.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
With that 3rd down completion, Caleb Williams now has 100 yards passing on the night…with 1:52 left in the 3rd quarter. Just a strange night. But SC driving.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
The USC offense is finally coming to life a bit. On the most recent drive, Caleb Williams finally crossed 100 yards passing. They have driven all the way down to the 1-yard line where they have first and goal at the start of the 4th quarter.
A false start moved the ball back to the 5-yard line. On 3rd and goal, Arizona committed another penalty giving SC 1st and goal from the 1. Caleb Williams demonstrated pure heart and strength en route to a QB-keeper touchdown.
For whatever reason, and give a lot of credit to Arizona, the passing game just hasn’t been there tonight. Caleb has looked off with his throws. Receivers have been unable to get any separation. But they are battling, and Caleb Williams, on an off night, is still the best quarterback in America.
After the 3rd quarter field goal, the USC defense really looked like they had turned a corner. Well, after the offense finally got it together and pushed the lead to 8, the USC defense let Arizona drive right down the field, aided by plenty of missed tackles. With first and goal from inside the 5-yard line, the Trojans held firm forcing the Wildcats into a 4th and goal situation. However, per the theme of the night, Arizona converted for a touchdown and then converted the two-point conversion to tie the game.
Arizona playing extremely undisciplined. On the ensuing USC drive, they commit another roughing the passer penalty giving the Trojans a fresh set of downs. But USC is unable to move the ball any further and punt the ball back to the Wildcats.
Arizona has the ball with 6:22 remaining and a chance to take the lead.
Facing a 3rd and 9, with an opportunity to get the ball back for the offense, Noah Fifita scrambles for 15 yards and a first down. That play pretty much sums up the night. The team has battled but hasn’t been dominant in any phase.
After moving the ball to the 35-yard line, SC forces a 4th down. Arizona elects to attempt a 50-yard field goal. The kick is no good. Caleb Williams has 2:08 and one timeout to drive down and win the game.
After the missed FG attempt, Caleb Williams has 2:08 and 1 timeout to drive down and win the game.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
This game feels very reminiscent of the Oregon State game last year. Definitely not Caleb's best game, but an opportunity to win it right here. @USC
Wow. We are going to overtime. Bad snap, unable to get the kick off. HORRIBLE 3 play sequence for SC to close out the game. @USC_LAFB— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
Caleb Williams does it himself this time and takes it 18 yards for the touchdown. The PAT is GOOD. SC up 7— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
And on the first play of the Arizona possession, touchdown. We are all tied up heading to overtime number 2.
Arizona scores on their second overtime possession to take the lead. They have 506 total yards on the night.
WOW! Calen Bullock was just shot out of a cannon. 2-pt conversion is no good. SC with a shot to win.— Ryan Dyrud (@RyanDyrudLAFB) October 8, 2023
The Trojans score on an Austin Jones run to tie the game, but the 2-point attempt is no good. We are going to OT number 3.
SC converts in the 3rd overtime and Arizona fails. SC WINS!
It wasn’t pretty, but the Trojans are 6-0. We will have PLENTY to talk about on the Salute To Troy Podcast!