Updated Oct 11, 2013 - 8:20 am
Cat Tracks: Denker, Arizona rally late but fall to USC
In interim head coach Ed Orgeron's debut, the Trojans staved off a late Wildcats rally at The Coliseum, prevailing 38-31.
Wildcats' senior quarterback B.J. Denker, who grew up in Torrance, Ca. -- less than 20 miles from the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum -- nearly matched his passing output of the previous four games combined in the contest, throwing for 363 yards and a career-high four touchdown passes in the game.
Ka'Deem Carey, meanwhile, rushed for 138 yards on 21 carries, continuing his spectacular season for yet another game.
On the other side of the ball, however, coach Rich Rodriguez's defense had difficulty slowing down Cody Kessler and the USC offense, which accrued 546 total yards. And the Trojans' offensive effort was balanced, with 297 yards coming in the air and 249 coming on the ground.
Yet, despite trailing 38-17 at one point in the game, the Wildcats rallied to pull within a score with more than two minutes to play in the game. They had two timeouts and, after drawing USC kick returners upfield with a back-to-back high, short kickoffs, they had the Trojans pinned at their own 4 with a deep kick.
But Silas Redd and the Trojans' run game were able to bring a halt to the Arizona rally, getting three first downs to seal the game.
Arizona fell to 3-2 (0-2) with the loss.
After spending its first four games in a run-dominated offense, the Wildcats found a passing game Thursday.
B.J. Denker looked Johnny Manziel-lite in the contest, getting outside of the pocket and throwing downfield for big yardage. The senior quarterback recorded touchdown passes of 57, 45 and 28 yards in the contest.
Ka'Deem Carey's 138-yard effort balanced out the Wildcats' offense nicely.
Arizona's defense and special teams struggled mightily in the loss. The Wildcats had a blocked punt, a missed field goal and a botched snap on a PAT (which was later reversed due to a late penalty).
Defensively, they allowed 546 total yards and big play after big play.
Arizona (3-2, 0-2) plays Utah (3-2, 0-2) Saturday, October 19 in Tucson.
- No QB yet, but Wildcats a little closer after spring game
- NFL Draft '14: Recapping Arizona's Pro Day and looking ahead to ASU's
- UA's Rodriguez: Proposed play clock rule would change fundamentals of game
- UA's Rodriguez: Don't expect QB to be named by end of spring
- Arizona moves first two games of 2014 season to weekdays
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Tuesday April 15Adam and Jarrett talk about UA's early departures.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Thursday April 3Adam and Jarrett recap a tough loss as well as the season itself.
- Bearing Down with Adam and Jarrett - Friday March 28Adam and Jarrett talk about Arizona's run to the Elite 8.
- Bickley Blast - Friday March 28Arizonans can all rally around this University of Arizona basketball team.
- Paul Bessire, predictionmachine.com - Wednesday March 26Paul Bessire reacts to the first week of the NCAA Tournament.