The #22 ranked Arizona Wildcats are coming to Los Angeles to face off against the #17 ranked USC Trojans. Are you, much like me, not so privy on the history of the series between these two schools? Well, let’s take a look at some statistics - hopefully we may learn a thing or two:
This will be the 41st game that these two schools have played against one another, with USC holding a commanding lead in the win column (32-8). The average score in the entire series has USC outpacing ‘Zona at a rate of 30.7 points per game to 17.1.
Last season this contest wasn’t really close at all as we saw USC prevail, 48-14. Sam Darnold threw for 5 touchdowns, Juju Smith-Schuster got 9 balls while tallying 132 receiving yards and 3 receiving touchdowns. The last time the Wildcats beat the Trojans was in 2012 - the starting quarterback for ‘Zona was Matt Scott and he led the upset over #9 USC with 369 passing yards and 3 touchdowns; Matt Barkley had 493 yards and 3 touchdowns but it ultimately was not enough.
The largest margin of victory for either team came in 1928 with a score of 78-7 in favor of Southern California. Howard Jones was the head coach for USC back then and he went on to win the National Championship with that 1928.
These two teams played sparingly until they were in the same conference beginning in 1979. From 1916 to 1928 they only played 7 times. USC actually lost to Arizona for the first time in 1981 to a final score of 13-10; it’s kind of neat to say that USC was undefeated against against Arizona from 1916 to 1981 (next time you’re at a party, you can pull that one out to impress your friends - I will allow it).
This week’s game features two top-25 teams so it should be interesting, especially given the fact that both these teams are still very much in the thick of things in the PAC-12.
Here’s to hoping that years from now the box score reflects well on the Trojans.