Skip to main content

Game Preview: No. 10 USC Football Heads to Arizona for Offensive Showdown

Oct 28, 2022

Who: No. 10 USC at Arizona

Where: Arizona Stadium

When: Saturday, Oct. 29 at 3 PT/ 4 MT on Pac-12 Network

All-time series: USC leads, 37-8

Last meeting: USC won 41-34 in Los Angeles


Arizona Player Spotlight:

Quarterback Jayden de Laura:

  • Sophomore signal caller who can extend plays with his running ability

  • So far in 2022:

    • 174 of 275 for 2,274 yards, 19 touchdowns, and 7 interceptions

    • 38 carries for 71 yards with 1 rushing touchdown

  • Lincoln Riley compared de Laura to Washington State's quarterback Cam Ward because they keep broken plays alive in a similar manner

  • Ranked 2nd in Pac-12 and 9th in FBS in passing yardage and passing yards per game

Wide Receiver Jacob Cowing:

  • Transferred to Arizona from UTEP

  • Leads the Wildcats in:

    • Receptions - 53

    • Receiving yards - 737

    • Receiving touchdowns - 7

  • Has 39 consecutive games with at least 1 reception

    • Third longest active streak in FBS

Keys to the Game:

  • USC Needs to Be Effective in its Pass Rush

    • The Trojans are once again facing a quarterback who can avoid pressure and extend plays. USC's front had an uncharacteristic game two weeks ago, recording just one combined tackle for loss and zero sacks in its loss against Utah. It will be key for the Trojans to put pressure on quarterback Jayden de Laura, preventing his ability to make easy throws. Head coach Lincoln Riley stressed earlier in the week that he's looking for more consistent production from its rush ends: Solomon Bird, Korey Foreman and Nick Figueroa.

    • "Historically, in this defensive system, that rush position has always been a very, very productive player," Riley said. "Whether it's all three, whether it's one that steps up and separates himself, we feel like we have three good players who need to really take off and play well for us."

  • Limit Arizona's Yards After Contact

    • While the Trojans were often in the right spot defensively against Utah, the Trojans couldn't bring the Utes down on first contact. In order to show growth from its first loss of the season, USC must gang tackle and prevent unnecessary yards after contact. Defensive coordinator Alex Grinch noted how it will take a full-team effort in order to see success against the Wildcats.

    • "One guy in one-on-one situations is not going to hold out over the duration of sixty minutes, so mixing coverage and all that stuff's got to be our M-O," Grinch said. "We have got to have the ability to win [matchups] and two weeks ago we didn't win enough. That's on film now and I'm sure it'll be a very confident group coming against us on Saturday."

  • Williams & Co. Continuing Where It Left Off

    • USC quarterback Caleb Williams is coming off of his best performance so far as a Trojan and should look to continue where he left off two weeks ago. Arizona's offense has the ability to put up a lot of points, so it's up to the Trojans' offense to score early and often to take pressure off of their defense. After having a bye week to reflect and recharge, Williams shared that the team is focused and ready to tackle the second half of its season.

    • "As soon as the game ended, I felt like there were things that I could have done more," Williams said Wednesday. "[We've channeled] that energy throughout the bye week until now. Having that energy and that passion of not wanting to lose and not wanting to have that feeling again has been shown."