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Arizona, USC Square Off in Los Angeles

Oct 25, 2021

TUCSON, Ariz. — The Arizona Wildcats (0-7, 0-4) travel to Los Angeles this weekend for a Pac-12 matchup against the USC Trojans (3-4, 2-3) on Saturday evening. Kickoff is scheduled for 4:00 p.m. MST with a television broadcast slated for ESPNU.

A complete game preview is below.

  • Arizona hits the road to face USC in the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon at 4 p.m. MST on ESPNU. John Schriffen and Rene Ingoglia will be on the call.
  • Arizona allows just 176.4 passing yards per game, which is second in the Pac-12 and 13th in the nation. The Wildcats have held their opponent to under 100 passing yards twice this season, the first time they have done so since 2008. 
  • The Wildcats are fourth in the Pac-12 in total defense as they allow 362.4 yards per game. Arizona hasn't finished better than eighth in the conference since the 2010 season, which is also the last time Arizona allowed fewer than 400 yards per game.
  • Arizona has held their opponents under 400 yards in total offense five times this season after having achieved the feat just once across the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The last time Arizona allowed fewer than 400 yards five times in one season was the 2017 season.
  • Seven games into the season, Stanley Berryhill III has 54 receptions and is on pace to challenge Bobby Wade's school record for receptions in one season (93). He is 11 catches away from breaking into the top 10. 
  • Berryhill averages 7.7 receptions and 66.4 yards per game, which is second and third in the Pac-12, respectively. His 7.7 catches per game also ranks eighth in the nation. 
  • Kyle Ostendorp is second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation averaging 48.4 yards per punt. 

5.5 — Arizona's two freshmen running backs Jalen John & Stevie Rocker Jr. combine to average 5.5 yards per carry.

36 — Offensive lineman Donovan Laie has started the first 36 games of his career. Only eight other offensive linemen have started 30 or more consecutive games since Arizona began tracking game-by-game starters in 1993.

54 — Stanley Berryhill III has 54 catches in the first seven games of the season and is on pace to challenge the school record.

100 — For the first time since 2008, the Wildcats have held their opponent to under 100 passing yards twice this season.

362.4 — Arizona allows 362.4 yards per game, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12.

WRAPPING UP FRIDAY: Arizona held their opponent under 400 yards in total offense (305) for the fifth time this season after having achieved the feat just once across the 2019 and 2020 seasons … Arizona's 218 rushing yards against the UW defense were a season high, and its most since gaining 268 yards on the ground versus Colorado in the 2020 season … Stevie Rocker Jr.'s 52-yard sweep was the Wildcats' longest rush of the season, surpassing Jalen John's 23-yard run in the previous week's game versus Colorado … The Wildcats' touchdown by Jamarye Joiner with 8:16 remaining in the first half was his first score since catching a touchdown in Arizona's 2020 season opener against USC … Arizona running back Jalen John finished the night with 19 carries, a career-high eight greater than his previous high-water mark … With three first-half sacks on Friday versus Washington, Arizona tallied more sacks in the first 30 minutes of the game than its previous 11 entire games. The Wildcats last had three or more sacks in a game in the 2019 Territorial Cup … Mo Diallo finished the game with four tackles for a loss from his defensive lineman position for the Wildcats on Friday night. It was the most in a game by a Wildcat since Colin Schooler also tallied four in a game at Oregon State on Sept. 22, 2018.

VERSUS USC: Arizona is 8-36 all-time vs. USC … The Trojans have won the last eight contests … The last time Arizona won in Los Angeles was back in 2009 … Arizona's last overall win over USC was in Tucson in 2012 … Last season, USC scored a touchdown with 25 seconds left to beat the Wildcats in Tucson by a score of 34-30 … Tayvian Cunningham had five catches for 110 yards, including a 75-yard score in the third quarter on the first play of the drive … Stanley Berryhill III had a game-high eight catches for 70 yards and one touchdown … Jamarye Joiner also caught a touchdown pass … Rhedi Short (9), Jaxen Turner (8) and Anthony Pandy (8) led Arizona in tackles … Jalen Harris had two TFLs and six total tackles … Lucas Havrisik made three field goals, including a 51-yarder in the fourth quarter. 

Arizona has held their opponents to under 400 yards in five of their seven games this season. Prior to the start of the 2021 season, Arizona had held their opponent to under 400 yards in five of the previous 29 games. The last time Arizona held their opponent to under 400 yards of offense five times in one season was back in 2017, but they haven't done it four times in the first seven games since the 2013 season. Arizona, which ranks fourth in the Pac-12 as they allow 362.4 yards per game, haven't finished better than eighth in the conference in total defense since 2010, which is also the last time Arizona allowed fewer than 400 yards per game. The 2010 defense finished third in the Pac-10 allowing 340.8 yards per game.

ON PACE FOR GREATNESS: Seven games into the regular season, Tucson's own Stanley Berryhill III has 54 receptions and is on pace to challenge Bobby Wade's school record for receptions in one season. He is also on pace for nearly 800 yards, which surpass his total yards from his first three seasons at Arizona combined (733 yards). Berryhill, who averages double digit targets per game, ranks second in the Pac-12 in receptions per game and third receiving yards per game (7.7-66.4) and is also eighth in the nation in receptions per game.

MR. YAC: Stanley Berryhill III has been outstanding for the Wildcats through five games thus far. A team-captain and one of the recipients of the No. 1 jersey, Berryhill leads Arizona with 54 receptions and 465 yards, both career highs for one season. Where Berryhill does his most damage is after the ball is in his hands, hence the name Mr. YAC. Through six games, 272 of Berryhill's 465 yards have been after the catch and also has two games with at least 70 YAC.

SWARM TO THE BALL: If there's one thing defensive coordinator Don Brown emphasizes to his defense, it's run to the ball. There's no question that the Arizona defense takes to his coaching very well as nine different players have at least 25 tackles this season. No other team in the Pac-12 has nine or more players with at least 25 tackles.

THE YOUNG GUNS: Freshmen running backs Jalen John and Stevie Rocker Jr. handled the ball carrier duties for Arizona against Washington last time out and helped the Wildcats rush for a season-high 218 yards as the duo combined for 27 carries for 152 yards. Rocker's 52-yard rush was the Wildcats' longest rush of the season, which propelled him to a game-high 87 yards on the ground. On the season, John and Rocker combine to average 5.5 yards per carry.

THE PANDY MAN CAN: Senior linebacker Anthony Pandy is back for his fifth year as a Wildcat and has a large leadership role under first year head coach Jedd Fisch as he was named a team captain. Pandy leads the Arizona defense in tackles with 51 and is eighth in the Pac-12 with an average of 7.3 per game. Pandy had a career-high 13 tackles vs. UCLA, his second double-digit tackling performance of the season and third of his career. His 13 tackles was the most of any Pac-12 player that week. 

NO FLY ZONE: Arizona, who hasn't allowed fewer than 200 yards per game through the air for a season since 2008, has been exceptional defending the pass this season as they allow just 176.4 yards through the air per game, the second-fewest in the Pac-12 and the 13th-fewest in the nation. The Wildcats have held their opponent to under 100 passing yards twice this season, making it the first time since 2008 they have done so. Against UCLA, the Bruins had just 82 passing yards for the game and threw for just three yards in the first half. 82 passing yards allowed is the fewest Arizona has allowed since limiting The Citadel to 21 in 2010 and it is the first time the Wildcats held an opponent to under 100 yards passing since Colorado had 92 in 2020.

IN THE KITCHEN: Mo Diallo was causing absolute havoc all night vs. Washington as he finished the game with a career-high four TFLs, the most by a Wildcat since Colin Schooler had four in a game back in 2018. He was a major part of the defensive front that helped generate four sacks on the night as he had a game-high 1.5. Jerry Roberts, Trevon Mason and Rashie Hodge Jr. got in the action as well. Arizona's four sacks vs. Washington are the most in one game since Nov. 2, 2018 when the Wildcats had five sacks vs. Colorado. 

Speaking of getting into the kitchen, Arizona blocked their first punt since Oct. 27, 2018 as Nazar Bombata blocked Washington's first punt of the evening on the first possession of the game. He is the first Wildcat to block a punt since Chacho Ulloa did it against Oregon.

HEY TRE: Linebacker Treshaun Hayward comes to Arizona with already boasting a very successful career. The 2019 MAC Defensive Player of the Year played 39 games for Western Michigan and totaled 229 tackles, 16 TFLs and 5.5 sacks. Hayward was flat out dominant in 2019 as he was named an All-American by Sporting News and Phil Steele. The Ypsilanti, Mich. native finished the season with a conference-high 142 tackles and added in 10.5 TFLs. His 142 tackles was the third-most in the country and was one of five players to post 130+ tackles and 10+ TFLs. In five games at Arizona, Hayward has the second-most tackles on the team with 34 and is also second on the team with 2.5 TFLs. He recovered his first fumble as a Wildcat in the third quarter of the UCLA game and is 11th in the Pac-12 with 6.8 tackles per game.

KICKIN' KYLE: Sophomore punter Kyle Ostendorp has been terrific in the first half of the 2021 campaign. On the season, Ostendorp ranks second in the Pac-12 and sixth in the nation with 48.4 yards per punt. He has a Pac-12 high 19 punts of 50 yards or more and has downed 11 inside the 20, the second-most in the conference. His 71-yard punt vs. San Diego State is also a Pac-12 high and is the longest punt by an Arizona punter since Keenyn Crier's 84-yard punt back in 2007. Against Washington, Ostendorp averaged 56.2 yards per punt on five kicks, including a 68-yarder and three downed inside the 20 with no touchbacks.

CONVERTING UNDER PRESSURE: Arizona converts on fourth down at a 62.5% clip, the third-best conversion rate in the Pac-12. Additionally, Arizona's 10 fourth-down conversions are the second-most in the Pac-12 and the 14th-most in the nation.

SPREADING THE LOVE: Jamarye Joiner became the fourth player this season to throw a TD pass after he found Michael Wiley in the back of the endzone at the end of the first half against UCLA on a double pass. For the first time since 2016, Arizona has four or more players with at least one touchdown pass.

  • QB Jordan McCloud – 2 TD
  • QB Gunner Cruz – 2 TD
  • QB Will Plummer – 2 TD
  • WR Jamarye Joiner – 1 TD

WOLMA NAMED CAMPBELL TROPHY SEMIFINALIST: Senior tight end Bryce Wolma was named a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy on Wednesday morning, as announced by the National Football Foundation. The Campbell Trophy recognizes an individual as the absolute best football scholar-athlete in the nation for his combined academic success, football performance and exemplary leadership. Wolma, who graduated in the spring of 2021 with a degree in business management, finished undergrad with a GPA of 3.49 and has been studying Entrepreneurship as his postgrad study. The Saline, Mich. native caught his first touchdown pass of the season last week at Oregon on an 11-yard pass from Jordan McCloud. Wolma has five catches for 36 yards this season and has 47 catches for 412 yards and four touchdowns for his career.

DO THE SAFETY DANCE: With a sack by Mo Diallo in the third quarter vs. Oregon, Arizona became the first defense in the country with two safeties on the season. The previous safety came in the season opener against BYU as Rashie Hodge Jr. and Trevon Mason combined to bring down the BYU running back. Arizona had a two-safety season back in 2019, but prior to this year, Arizona defenses have forced only six safeties in the previous 15 seasons combined.

WILDCATS IN THE NFL: As of week seven, the Wildcats are once again well represented in the National Football League with nine former letterwinners active across the league. One of Arizona's most prestigious alums, tight end Rob Gronkowski, returned from retirement in 2020 to rejoin his longtime quarterback Tom Brady with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Over 10 seasons in New England and Tampa Bay, Gronkowski has hauled in 8,668 yards and 90 touchdowns. Quarterback Nick Foles is in his 10th NFL season after rewriting the Wildcats record books during his time in Tucson. Running back J.J. Taylor, in his second season in the league with the Patriots, scored his first two career touchdowns in week seven against the New York Jets. The most recent Wildcats to make the transition to the NFL are running back Gary Brightwell (New York Giants) and defensive end Roy Lopez (Houton Texans). For a complete list of former Wildcats in the NFL, see the comprehensive chart below.

Current Wildcats on NFL Rosters

Player Position Team
Nick Foles QB Chicago Bears
Rob Gronkowski TE Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Jace Whittaker CB Arizona Cardinals
Gary Brightwell RB New York Giants
Nick Folk K New England Patriots
J.J. Taylor RB New England Patriots
Roy Lopez DL Houston Texans
Dane Cruikshank DB Tennessee Titans
Demetrius Flannigan-Fowles LB San Francisco 49ers