Even though there is still a bit of time between now and the end of the season, Saturday’s game could dictate the first-place finisher for the Pac-12 South. With the way that this season has progressed, this game will be a good test for both teams to see who will emerge as the stronger team in the division. This game also provides some interesting matchups that could be crucial points for each team’s success.
This season has not been a highlight season for the Trojans defense. Even though they have only lost two games, the defensive stats have not been impressive. The Trojans are currently ranked 68th in total defense, with the Arizona Wildcats owning the sixth-ranked offense.
One of the main lapses on defense has been with their run defense. Against the Fighting Irish a few weeks ago, they gave up over 300 yards rushing along with five touchdowns. The
USC will need to bolster the front lines is they want to slow down the Wildcats. Last week, Arizona also rushed for over 300 yards and four touchdowns against Washington State. The Trojans will need to exploit the inexperience of Khalil Tate in this offense. If they are able to slow down the run and force him to make all the plays with his arm, they’ll have a true shot to keep their first-place position.
Receiver Tyler Vaughns has proven to be a key asset for the Trojans these past weeks. He had a huge game against Arizona State, hauling in two touchdowns for 121 yards. The Trojans offense can be a menace when all the pieces are in place, but that is the key. The Trojans have proven to be a dangerous team all around, but have not been the most consistent.
If they’re able to get everything going, they should be able to do damage against this Arizona defense that allowed nearly 450 yards a game. If Sam Darnold is able to post anywhere near the stats that he did against Arizona state (226 yards 3 TD’s O INT’s) it will be a long day for this Wildcat defense.