Keaontay Ingram Leads USC Football Past Arizona In 41-34 Homecoming Victory
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Keaontay Ingram rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown, and Gary Bryant Jr. caught two TD passes as the Trojans defeated Arizona, 41-34, in the Trojans' Homecoming/Reunion Weekend game on Saturday night.
The Trojans (4-4, 3-3 Pac-12) snapped their three-game home losing streak. They also extended the Wildcats' epic skid to 20 games, the longest active slide in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the longest in Pac-12 history.
Drake London caught nine passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the Coliseum field with a serious right leg injury late in the first half.
London injured his right leg while making his second TD catch on a 6-yard pass from Jaxson Dart. London, who set an FBS record with 79 catches in his team's first seven games this season, returned to the USC bench in the second half with a cast on his leg.
Interim coach Donte Williams said "there's a concern" the ankle injury will be season-ending for London, a prime NFL prospect.
"Seeing a player like him go down, the whole team felt it," Ingram said.
Kedon Slovis and Dart threw two touchdown passes apiece while splitting time behind center for the Trojans in a sharing plan set up by Williams, who apparently didn't tell Slovis or most of the rest of the USC offense about his intentions before the game.
"It's tough," said Slovis, a two-year starter and the first-team All-Pac-12 quarterback last season. "You want to to be in, and you think you give your team the best chance to win. Not to take away from Jaxson. He's a great player, but you want to know why."
Anthony Pandy returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown early in the second half for Arizona (0-8, 0-5), which lost to USC for the ninth straight time despite a strong rally from a 21-point halftime deficit.
Will Plummer, who passed for 264 yards, rushed for a 16-yard TD with 12:50 to play. Arizona hit two field goals later in the fourth quarter, but Calen Bullock recovered an onside kick with 1:25 left to seal USC's win.
Tayvian Cunningham caught an early 73-yard touchdown pass for the Wildcats, who scored at least 20 points for the first time in 11 games since last Nov. 21. They remained winless under rookie head coach Jedd Fisch.
Kedon Slovis and Dart threw two touchdown passes apiece while sharing time behind center for the Trojans. Slovis passed for 192 yards despite the pick-6, while Dart passed for 109 yards in his first appearance since getting hurt in his impressive debut at Washington State last month.
After Ingram scored on USC's opening drive, Cunningham caught his long TD pass from Jamarye Joiner, the Arizona receiver who moonlights as a wildcat quarterback.
USC 7 | ARZ 0
— USC Football (@USC_FB) October 30, 2021
The Trojans came right back with Slovis' 62-yard TD throw to Bryant. Slovis went 9 of 11 for 145 yards in the first quarter before he was replaced by Dart, the promising freshman who replaced an injured Slovis in Pullman and passed for 391 yards and four touchdowns before getting injured himself and missing the next month.
Dart immediately led a 96-yard drive capped by a short TD pass to London. After London got hurt, Slovis added another TD pass to Bryant 32 seconds before halftime.
— USC Football (@USC_FB) October 31, 2021
THE TWO QBS
Slovis passed for 204 yards, while Dart passed for 109 yards in his first appearance since his impressive USC debut last month at Washington State. Dart replaced an injured Slovis in Pullman and passed for 391 yards and four touchdowns before getting injured himself and missing the next month.
Williams refused to say whether he'll continue to split playing time between his quarterbacks, instead emphasizing the Trojans' 234-yard rushing performance led by Texas transfer Ingram.
"We're fortunate to have big-time backs here," Williams said. "We're in a good situation with running backs we can depend on."
USC: At Arizona State next Saturday. The Trojans then head to Berkeley to face California before returning home on Nov. 20 to host crosstown rival UCLA.