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What Arizona players are saying about USC

NCAA Football: Arizona at Southern California Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Wildcats got off to one of the worst starts imaginable, dropping their first two games of the season, but they have rebounded with two straight wins to pull even at 2-2 heading into Saturday’s home game against the USC Trojans, who are also 2-2.

Not only do the Wildcats have a chance to win their third game in a row, but they can also improve to 2-0 in conference play after they thrashed Oregon State last weekend.

A few UA players met with the media Tuesday and here is what they had to say about Saturday’s game. Head coach Kevin Sumlin’s comments can be found here.

Arizona WR Shawn Poindexter on the importance of a win: “I think it would be huge. I think we made a huge statement winning against Oregon State, and I think that should speak volumes for itself. We’re clicking on all angles of the field. We left 21 points on the field. I think beating USC would really establish us and maybe this city will believe in us a little more.”

Poindexter on USC’s defense: “They’re aggressive in their (defensive backs). I haven’t really looked at the interior, but the corners are very aggressive. They’ll put hands on (you), so I’ll have to adjust my style of play this week.”

Arizona DT PJ Johnson on if this game feels bigger because it’s against USC: “I feel like if we take the game as more than a game, it’ll get over our heads. So we just gotta attack it like we attack every other team.”

Arizona LB Tony Fields II on facing 17-year-old true freshman quarterback JT Daniels: “That’s a plus to us. He’s a 17-year-old true freshman. I was once in that situation and I was once confused and stuff like that, so I know how he’s feeling. He’s the quarterback so he has to read defenses and everything like that, so that’s what I think we should do — disguise a lot so he can’t know what we’re in.”

Fields on what a win vs. USC would mean for the program: “It would be a great boost. Not just for the program, but for our fans. I believe our fans will be all here, all in. A couple days ago I posted something on Twitter that we need the fans to be here ready to roll.”

Fields on not treating the USC game differently than others: “That’s more for the younger guys. Last year, I feel like USC was a big game for me, but now it’s like I’ve been there, done that. So I was talking to one of the younger guys the other day and I’m like ‘it’s just another game. Treat it like another game.’ You don’t want to get too jittery because that’s when stupid penalties, stupid mistakes happen.”

Fields on the key to beating USC: “Everybody flying to the ball. We need to have our offense on the field as much as possible so we need three-and-outs, we need to stop them on third down. That’s our biggest stress.”

Fields on if USC is a class above the rest of Arizona’s opponents: “Not necessarily. Everybody has athletes. This is Division 1 football. Everybody got recruited. I went to the same high school as guys who went to SC. One of my ex-teammates (Randal Grimes) goes to ‘SC so everybody is the same athlete, it just comes down to execution.”

Arizona G Bryson Cain on the importance of a win: “It would just send a message that we’re not a team to be messed with this year. I think with Coach (Kevin) Sumlin we’re moving in the right direction and we can really make a difference in the Pac-12.”