The No. 10 USC Trojans play their last game of the season outside Los Angeles when they travel to Tucson to face the Arizona Wildcats on Saturday in a key Pac-12 battle.
The Trojans have won nine of their last 10 games, and defeated the Wildcats, 48-41, at the Coliseum last year. The USC defense will look to limit the Wildcats’ offense this time around.
The Wildcats have racked up the points this season. Arizona posted 59 points against then-No. 18 Oklahoma State, and 52 points on Washington this season.
Quarterback Matt Scott has proven to be one of the most proficient quarterbacks in the Pac-12 conference. The senior has completed over 64 percent of his passes, and has thrown for 17 touchdown passes.
When Scott isn’t completing passes to talented wide outs Austin Hill and Dan Buckner, the Wildcats are handing the ball off to Ka’Deem Carey, a sophomore tail back who is fourth in the conference in rushing with 842 yards.
While the Arizona offense has thrived, the defense has had its share of struggles. The Wildcats conceded 38 points at home to Oregon State on Sept. 29, and 54 points to Stanford on Oct. 6.
The Trojans are coming off a blowout victory over Colorado, and have won four-straight games following their lone loss to Stanford at Palo Alto on Sept. 15.
Matt Barkley is coming off perhaps his best performance of his collegiate career. The senior threw for six touchdowns and 298 yards, while completing 19-of-20 passes.
Wide receiver Robert Woods caught eight passes for 132 yards in the game, including four touchdown receptions. The junior has at least four receptions in a game all season.
USC might be looking past Arizona for the following week’s game. The Trojans have a home game against No. 2 Oregon, in a game that has major BCS implications. Last year, the Trojans escaped with a victory in Eugene in perhaps the most important victory of Lane Kiffin’s career as the Trojans’ head coach.
The Trojan defense has received criticism this season, and the game against a tough Arizona squad should be more than a tune-up for the high-octane offense of Oregon.
LINE: USC is favored by 7
PREDICTION: This should be a very close game. USC has struggled to get convincing victories on the road, and Arizona has been strong at Arizona stadium. This game has the makings of an upset, but expect both defenses to over-achieve, with USC’s unit stepping up just a notch more than Arizona.
PREDICTED SCORE: USC over Arizona, 24-23