ARIZONA FOOTBALL

Wildcats show growth but fail to end losing streak at USC

Oct 30, 2021, 8:31 PM
Arizona quarterback Will Plummer, center, runs for a touchdown past Southern California linebacker ...

Arizona quarterback Will Plummer, center, runs for a touchdown past Southern California linebacker Drake Jackson (99) during the second half of an NCAA college football game Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

LOS ANGELES — 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, dampening Southern California’s 41-34 victory over winless Arizona on Saturday night.

Keaontay Ingram rushed for 186 yards and a touchdown, and Gary Bryant Jr. caught two TD passes as 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.

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.

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.

THE TAKEAWAY

Arizona: This one was close, and signs of progress are there. The Wildcats posted their second-biggest point total during this losing streak. Plummer looked composed during the comeback. The defense tightened up in the second half. Matchups with Cal and Washington State in November look downright winnable.

USC: If London played his final collegiate snap in this game, the Trojans will lose one of the school’s best-ever receivers before he racked up the season-long accomplishments that would truly reflect his dominance. It would be yet another setback for a team trying to put together a decent finish before its new head coach is named.

UP NEXT

Arizona: Hosts California next Saturday.

USC: At Arizona State next Saturday.

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