TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Arizona’s two-game winning streak was snapped Saturday night as Southern California survived the Wildcats' late rally for a 24-20 win in Tucson.
KHALIL TATE POSTGAME DOWNLOAD:
The Trojans' (3-2, 2-1 Pac-12) defense gave the Wildcats (2-3, 1-1) early troubles, but Arizona turned things around in the second half.
USC led 17-0 at halftime and pushed it to 24-0 early in the third quarter as the Arizona could not get anything going.
UA quarterback Khalil Tate threw an interception in the first half and was held to less than 60 yards passing.
The Wildcats finally woke up after USC’s third-quarter score.
Arizona took the ensuing kickoff and drove 84 yards on only seven plays. The series ended when Tate connected with Stanley Berryhill III for a 33-yard touchdown.
The teams traded punts until the Arizona defense came up with a huge play with nine minuted to go in the game.
Kylan Wilborn blew past an offensive lineman to sack USC quarterback JT Daniels.
Daniels fumbled the ball and Ariz PJ Johnson recovered it at the USC 32-yard line. One play later, Tate hit Cedric Peterson for a 32-yard touchdown to make it 24-14.
Still down 10 points, Arizona got the ball back with four minutes to go.
Aided by several Southern Cal penalties, the Wildcats drove 65 yards in eight plays to make it 24-20 when Gary Brightwell scored from 1 yard out.
Arizona then attempted an on-side kick, but USC recovered the ball to seal the win.
Run defense continues to be the Wildcats' Achilles heal. The Trojans ran for 253 yards, 173 went to Aca’cedric Ware who scored twice.
UA did force three turnovers in the game, all fumble recoveries.
The Cats host California next Saturday in a 7 p.m. kickoff.