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Tahj Washington, Kyle Ford Emerge In No. 10 USC Football's 45-37 Win At Arizona

Oct 29, 2022

Tahj Washington and Kyle Ford combined for 232 receiving yards and three touchdowns as shorthanded No. 10 USC Football defeated Arizona, 45-37, in Tucson on Saturday night.

Sophomore quarterback Caleb Williams threw for a career-high 411 yards on 31-of-45 passing with five touchdowns. Williams has thrown passed for over 380 yards and five touchdowns for the second straight game.

USC improved to 7-1 (5-1 Pac-12) and remains in second place in the Pac-12 standings with three conference games left. The Trojans will receive their first College Football Playoff ranking of the season on Tuesday.

USC entered the game without several key contributors on both ends of the ball, including Jordan Addison, Eric Gentry, Ralen Goforth, Andrew Vorhees and Mario Williams.

Addison and Williams' absence yielded for Washington and Ford to post big games in their places. Washington, who had not crossed the endzone for the first seven games of the season, finished with 118 receiving yards on seven catches and two touchdowns, while Ford had a career-high 114 yards on six receptions and a score. Redshirt freshman offensive lineman Mason Murphy filled in at right tackle with Vorhees out.

Travis Dye rushed for 113 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown. It was the seventh straight game that the grad transfer running back for Oregon recorded a touchdown and his fifth game of the season with over 100 rushing yards.

On the defensive side, Max Williams had a career-high nine tackles with a 0.5 tackle for loss and a pass breakup. Calen Bullock and Bryson Shaw — who recorded a key interception in the third quarter — each had seven takedowns.

The game was a high-yardage shootout that saw both teams' offenses driving the field for virtually the entire game. USC finished with 621 yards of offense while Arizona (3-5, 1-4 Pac-12) had 543.

Arizona briefly took a 7-3 after USC had to settle for Denis Lynch's 45-yard field goal. The Trojans scored five minutes later on Caleb Williams' swing pass to Raleek Brown for a 6-yard touchdown.

The Wildcats tied the game again with a field goal with 49 seconds left in the first quarter, but USC quickly regained the lead — and held it for the rest of the game — with Brenden Rice's first touchdown catch of the season from Williams.

While the Trojans' offense sputtered, Arizona kicked a field goal near the end of halftime and converted another at the beginning of the third quarter to cut USC's lead to one point.

The rest of the third quarter belonged to Washington. The redshirt junior wide receiver caught a 5-yard touchdown from Williams quickly after the field goal. Washington broke out on another touchdown for 47 yards immediately after Shaw intercepted Arizona quarterback Jayden de Laura.

Arizona continued to threaten USC's lead with two quick touchdowns at the end of the third quarter. USC remained in control of the game with Williams' 5-yard touchdown pass to Ford and Dye leaping over the goal line on the Trojans' next possession to seal the game.

USC returns to United Airlines Field at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum for the first time in nearly a month to play its Homecoming/Reunion Weekend game against California. Limited tickets to the game remain, starting at $105.