USC Seeks To Continue Momentum Heading Into Arizona

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USC seeks to continue momentum heading into Arizona
LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: USC Trojans linebacker Porter Gustin (45) and USC Trojans defensive lineman Marlon Tuipulotu (51) celebrate after a sack in a game between the Washington State Cougars and the USC Trojans on September 21, 2018, at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum in Los Angeles, CA.(Photo by Jordon Kelly/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Texas Longhorns embarrassed the USC Trojans in week three. However, the Trojans were able to recover and get a much-needed win against the Washington State Cougars. In a shootout game, the Trojans gave the Cougars their first loss of the season and raised there record to .500. JT Daniels threw for 241 yards while setting a USC true freshman record with three passing touchdowns’ in a single game. Vavae Malepeai tacked on 78 yards rushing and two touchdowns. As a matter of fact, his second score put the Trojans in the lead and essentially won them the game. Coming off the best win of the season, USC seeks to continue momentum heading into Arizona.

What to Watch for

Something the USC defense will need to watch out for against Arizona is the passing attack. Gardner Minshew picked apart USC, passing for 344 yards and three touchdowns. Now, they must face Khalil Tate. Tate came into the season as a Heisman candidate but has underperformed under the new coaching staff. Tate has just 31 yards rushing on the season, but he won’t allow his game to be ignored. He has thrown for 1,039 yards and has eight touchdowns with only two interceptions. If the USC secondary doesn’t make some adjustments they could be in store for another rough week.

Although it may true that Tate has struggled in the run game, the Trojans can’t afford to sleep on Arizona’s running backs. J.J. Taylor has been on a tear, averaging 119.3 yards per game while also leading the Pac-12 in rushing yards. He has great playmaking abilities along with breakaway speed. The Trojans will definitely have their hands full with trying to contain both Tate and Taylor.

Defensive Struggles

It’s no question that both of these teams have a lot of weaknesses on defense. Here are a few stats to pay attention to.

Passing yards allowed per game

Arizona: 71st in the nation

USC: 66th in the nation

Rushing yards allowed per game

Arizona: 102nd in the nation

USC: 89th in the nation

Scoring Defense

Arizona: 88th in the nation

USC: 81st in the nation

With that being said, this should be a high scoring game. The Trojans are a 3.5 point favorite in what’s expected to be a close game and a battle for first place in the Pac-12 South.

Editor’s Note: In a previous version of the story Getty images had misidentified one of the players in the main image. We apologize for any confusion.

Embed from Getty Images

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