Recap Week 9 Arizona: Cats defeat the #9 Trojans, Make their way back into the rankings (#24)

Arizona defeats #9 USC, 39-36 in Tuscon.

There are a lot of students who just cannot make it through the football games. Their excuses run the gamut including: it’s too hot, I don’t like to stand, the game is too long, etc, etc. As a resident assistant, I talk to my kids (yes, they’re my children) about how long they stay at the games. One is notorious for staying no longer than 30 minutes. Others make it through most of the game, but usually leave early. This past Saturday, one of my lovely ladies couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed for the game.  She was too tired and said that when USC started to “kick our asses” we would be glad we stayed in bed too. Hey Jenn, I’m still pretty glad I showed up to this game.

The University of Arizona Wildcats wowed at their game against the University of Southern California Trojans.  Previously 1-3 in the Pac-12 (4-3 overall), the Cats had much to prove in the meet up against the Trojans.  In addition to USC’s ranking alone, UA had much concern in USC’s prized possessions: Wide Receivers Marqise Lee and Robert Woods.  The Wildcat defense could not do much to contain USC’s Lee, much as they tried.  Lee racked up 16 receptions for 345 yards (averaging 21.6 yards); this is a Pac-12 record. While this is an achievement in and of itself, it bears mentioning that 255 of these yards came from the first half alone.  No matter which sideline you were cheering for, you must admit that is an impressive stat. USC’s Woods finished the game with 9 receptions for 93 yards. If you’re looking at yards per reception, the man to beat was Arizona’s Austin Hill. Hill completed 10 receptions for 259 yards (averaging 25.9 yards).  Hill’s longest reception was for 60 yards; this reception put the Cats in position for a touchdown by Ka’Deem Carey.

Casting a bittersweet shadow over the Cat’s upset over USC was an injury to QB Matt Scott in the 4th quarter.  Scott ran the ball through the pocket for a gain of about 7 yards. Seeing defenders closing in, Scott slid to end the play and stop his own progress. As Scott was sliding, he received hits to his head from not one, but two USC defenders (#18 Dion Bailey and #7 T. J. McDonald). As if the foul wasn’t gruesome enough, as Scott was “walking it off” he proceeded to vomit profusely on the 28 yard line, a sure sign of a concussion. This, however, is not the end of the controversy: Scott was not removed from the game. Scott continued in the game to finish the series including the game winning touchdown pass to Freshman Wide Receiver David Richards. While B.J. Denker did eventually take over for Scott, many were criticizing the UA coaching staff for allowing Scott to remain in the game.  Deadspin’s Isaac Rauch called the treatment of the concussion negligent.

Building on the momentum from last weekend’s win over Washington, Arizona is looking to bring their winning streak up to 3 by beating #25 UCLA next weekend. The Bruins are 6-2 this season and ranked 2nd in the Pac-12 South.  Last season, the Cats overcame the Bruins in a 48-12 victory.  This season, the Cats will face UCLA on the road, which could be bad news for Arizona (they are currently 0-2 on the road, both against ranked teams).  Cats fans at home can support the team by participating in view parties held on campus.  Viewing parties are usually held at places such as Gentle Ben’s or the Cellar Bistro in the Student Union.  ASUA and the official ZonaZoo website can be contacted for more information.

From the heart of Wildcat Country, Bear Down.