No. 9 USC avoids disaster, beats Arizona 43-41 in 3OT

No. 9 USC confirmed some critical flaws in shut street wins over Arizona State and Colorado the final two weeks. And when the Trojans returned dwelling to face Arizona on Saturday night time, these flaws practically proved expensive.

USC wanted three overtimes to flee the Wildcats with a 43-41 win to stay undefeated forward of subsequent week’s journey to Notre Dame. It wasn’t fairly. Actually, it was downright ugly.

With the rating tied 28-28 within the closing minute of regulation, USC’s MarShawn Lloyd reeled off an enormous run all the way down to the Arizona 6-yard line. With 24 seconds remaining, all of the Trojans needed to do was heart the ball and kick a chip-shot discipline objective to flee with a win. They couldn’t do it.

USC inexplicably threw the ball on first down and the cross fell incomplete. On second down, there was a botched alternate between Caleb Williams and Lloyd and the ball ended up on the turf. Williams fell on it for a two-yard loss. With the clock ticking, USC scrambled to the road and finally known as timeout with 4 seconds to go. Out got here the sector objective unit, and catastrophe struck. The snap was excessive and the operation had no probability, sending the sport to extra time nonetheless tied at 28-28.

The groups traded touchdowns within the first extra time. USC scored first and Arizona shortly responded. Arizona coach Jedd Fisch had an opportunity to go for 2 and the win, however he kicked the additional level and despatched the sport to double-overtime.

Arizona opened with the ball in double-overtime and scored, however did not convert the necessary two-point conversion. After being pushed again by holding and false-start penalties, Williams obtained the Trojans again into the top zone. Fittingly, USC’s two-point attempt failed as properly.

That arrange triple-overtime and its wacky, two-point-conversions-only format. USC transformed its attempt with Williams tiptoeing down the sideline and into the top zone. USC lastly sealed the win when its defensive position surged by way of the Arizona entrance and stopped DJ Williams within the backfield.

USC fell behind 17-0 with sluggish begin

The defensive stand capped off a comeback from the Trojans after an unsightly starting to the sport.

Arizona was simply the extra centered crew from the beginning. The Wildcats constructed a 17-0 lead by the early a part of the second quarter, forcing Williams and the Trojans to play from behind.

USC’s protection has been leaky (to place it kindly) all through Lincoln Riley’s tenure with this system, so this wasn’t a brand new state of affairs for Williams, the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. By halftime, Arizona’s lead was reduce to 17-14 thanks to 2 Williams touchdowns — a four-yard run and a five-yard cross to Kyron Hudson with two seconds left within the half.

Arizona added to the lead with a discipline objective early within the third earlier than the Trojans took their first lead of the ballgame on a Lloyd landing run. That rating made it 21-20, after which the Trojans scored once more to make it 28-20 with 12:54 to play.

Nonetheless a one-possession recreation, Arizona responded with Noah Fifita working the present. Making his second begin instead of the injured Jayden De Laura, Fifita led a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that culminated with a three-yard landing cross to Jacob Cowing on fourth down. A two-point conversion adopted, and the rating was tied at 28 apiece with 8:17 to play.

On the following drive, the Arizona protection pressured a three-and-out. Hastily, the Wildcats have been in place to probably win the sport. They drove into USC territory, however stalled on the 33. Tyler Loop had a discipline objective attempt from 50 yards out, however missed to provide the ball again to Williams and the Trojans.

What adopted was that botched sequence on the finish of regulation, three overtimes and a USC victory.

USC nonetheless undefeated, however has difficult schedule forward

The Trojans at the moment are 6-0 on the 12 months and have all of their targets forward of them. However the schedule is about to select up in depth.

A visit to Notre Dame is subsequent week earlier than a house recreation vs. No. 18 Utah. After which in November, the Trojans will host No. 7 Washington and journey to Eugene to face No. 8 Oregon.

With Williams at quarterback, the Trojans will all the time have an opportunity however questions on general focus and the efficiency of the protection stay. Merely put, the Trojans must play significantly better than they did on Saturday night time to make it by way of that stretch unscathed.

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