clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

USC vs. Arizona score predictions

Will the Wildcats finally beat USC?

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

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

The Arizona Wildcats (2-2, 1-0 Pac-12) will host the USC Trojans (2-2, 1-2) on Saturday as both teams try to get ahead in the Pac-12 South.

The Trojans are slight favorites, and haven’t lost to the Wildcats since 2012. Can Arizona finally snap that skid?

Here are our predictions. Be sure to leave yours in the comment section below.

Christopher Boan — USC wins 35-28

Arizona has lost five consecutive games against the Men of Troy, last defeating them in 2012. They also seem to have the worst possible luck in when exactly they face USC, getting them on the wrong side of them figuring out how to do this whole football thing correctly.

I think that 18-year-old true freshman QB JT Daniels is figuring out how to play at this level, and should torch Arizona’s sorry secondary, leading the Trojans to their sixth-straight win (and 34th overall) against the Wildcats come Saturday night. The wild card here is the health of Khalil Tate’s ankle, and whether he can actually run the ball well on Saturday night. I’m guessing he’s not 100 percent yet, so I’ll give the Trojans the nod, covering the current 3.5-point spread.

Gabe Encinas — USC wins 38-24

USC does not look very good and had no business beating Washington State but I still can’t get myself to say that Arizona wins. Prior to this season I pegged it as a loss, and while the Trojans have certainly had their own disappointing start to the season, I just think the talent from top to bottom takes over.

Home field certainly helps and it’s still a winnable game, but I just don’t see Arizona coming out on top.

Brian Pedersen — Arizona wins 28-27

Arizona is 8-33 all-time against USC, its worst record against any Pac-12 opponent by a mile. The Wildcats have just one victory in the last eight meetings, that coming in October 2012 when USC was at the outset of a tailspin that would ultimately lead to Lane Kiffin being left at the airport less than a year later.

USC is facing similar turmoil this season, still figuring itself out offensively while scratching its head at the performance of a defense that was supposed to be its strength. Sound familiar, Arizona fans?

The difference is, the Wildcats look like they’ve started to turn the corner the last two weeks (albeit against subpar opponents). We’re breaking out the momentum card here and calling for the upset.

Brandon Combs — Arizona wins 35-31

I feel this is going to be a hard fought, close game. Arizona is starting to gain some traction defensively and the offense has found itself. The offensive line has jelled the past two weeks and has become a real strength for the team. Even the defense is starting to solidify. OSU has one of the most explosive offenses in the Pac-12 and Arizona held them to only 238 yards of total offense. Also held freshman phenom Jermar Jefferson to under 100 yards rushing. Both are steps in the right direction.

USC is playing extremely inconsistent and the defense is struggling. The offensive line has been porous and the center has had some miscues recently. I think that Arizona definitely has home-field advantage and that will help propel the ‘Cats to a three-game win streak.

Jason Bartel — USC wins 38-34

I feel a lot better about Arizona’s chances now than I did two weeks ago, but not quite good enough to give the Wildcats the edge.

Yes, USC is incredibly bad on the road and have a kid that should be a high school senior playing quarterback.’s USC and if history tells me anything is that Arizona might compete, but the Trojans will eventually pull this one out somehow because that’s just kind of how this works.

Zant Reyez — USC wins 45-35

No one likes saying a loss is a “good loss,” but I’d be happy for one of those on Saturday. I want Arizona to show me it has fight and things are starting to click on both sides of the ball. Even though the ‘Cats are riding a two-game winning streak, the wins are against teams fans and pendents aren’t using to measure their growth. A competitive game against USC—albeit a subpar Trojans team—would help the ‘Cats keep moving in the right direction. UA has momentum right now, but a showing like it had against Houston would be two steps back.

Ryan Kelapire — USC wins 35-27

It will all come down to how much pressure Arizona gets on JT Daniels. Give the true freshman time to operate, and he will do fine, despite his inexperience. Pressure him, and you have a chance to rattle him in front of what should be a pretty good home crowd.

I don’t really trust Arizona’s defense to do things against a team that’s more talented and physically-gifted, though, so I’m going with the Trojans.