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Arizona Wildcats at USC Trojans: USC defeats Arizona 38-30 on Homecoming

After a slow start Ronald Jones II and USC came surging back to beat Arizona on Homecoming night

Harry How/Getty Images

A beaten and battered Arizona Wildcat team came to Los Angeles to take on the USC Trojans on Homecoming night. The Trojans were on a winning streak and attempting to keep pace with the victorious Utah Utes in hopes of winning the Pac-12 South. The energy was high, the margin of error was zero.

Unfortunately, the USC Trojans came out flat, Kessler was pressured, the running game could not get things going and a costly fumble resulted in an Arizona touchdown. As the first quarter drew to a close, Arizona was about to take a two-score lead. On the first play of the second quarter the Wildcats put up their second touchdown on an easy pitch and catch taking a 14-0 lead.

Things were looking bad for the Trojans until Adoree' Jackson snagged a short pass and exploded down the field for a huge gain taking the ball inside the Arizona 10 yard line. Kessler and the offense, however, could not capitalize and settled for a field goal.

Clay Helton's team was flat, and a field goal was not helping. As Anu Solomon drove the Wildcats down the field it appeared that the Wildcats were about to easily take a 21-3 lead. That is until John Plattenburg intercepted a pass, killing the drive and igniting the spark for the Trojans that Helton needed. The atmosphere began to change in the Coliseum.

Coach Helton had his guys fired up and he decided to capitalize. The very next play Kessler went deep to JuJu Smith-Schuster for the touchdown. The Trojans trailed 14-10. Helton did not stop there however and on the ensuing kickoff the Trojans attempted the onside kick that was recovered by the Trojans but an offside penalty gave the ball back to Arizona who tacked on a field goal.

Trailing 17-10 the Trojans went back to work on offense this time finding success on the ground on a night where the Trojans had been shut down in the early going. Ronald Jones ran wild down the field eventually punching the tying score into the end zone on a 5 yard touchdown catch.

After trailing 14-0 the Trojans finished out the second half outscoring Arizona 17-3 to close out the first half tied at 17.

Second half:

The third quarter was largely a defensive affair with merely a field goal from the Wildcats, but to start the fourth quarter USC took their first lead of the game. The Wildcats responded with another field goal and the Trojans clung to a 24-23 lead with ten minutes left.

As the fourth quarter dragged on you could feel a dramatic end building and then Ronald Jones broke open a 74-yard run for a touchdown giving the Trojans a 31-24 lead with just over nine minutes left to play. Jones had a monster night with a multitude of Reggie Bush comparisons from the ESPN broadcast team. He almost certainly has an amazing career in front of him.

The Trojans were able to follow up Jones' touchdown with another defensive stand. The offense responded with a methodical drive chewing up clock and reducing Arizona's chances of getting back into this game. Justin Davis capped off the drive, and the game with a touchdown run giving the Trojans a 38-23 lead with 2:36 left to play in the game.

The Wildcats managed to add another touchdown with ten seconds left to close the lead to eight points but it was too little too late. Trojans win 38-30