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USC Football

USC Scoop's Season Simulator: Week-2 USC @ Arizona

October 12, 2020

Marc Kulkin

There’s nothing about the Arizona Wildcat football team to concern the Trojans or the fans.  I know that sounds arrogant, however, in this case it’s true.

Yes, The Wildcats return Grant Gunnell at quarterback--one of the few returning quarterbacks in the PAC-12 with experience.   Last season in L.A. when the teams met, Gunnell, took over for the talented, Khalil Tate at QB, although the results were not much different.  And this year there is no J.J. Taylor returning at running back to lean on.  In fact there is not much returning on either side of the ball which would lend the Wildcat faithful confidence.  

In other words, USC, should roll through Tucson with mimimal resistance.

Wanna know how bad the Wildcat program is being perceived by the media who covers the PAC-12 conference?   The Colorado and Washington State programs are both replacing their head coaches, and without any spring camp to help with the transition, both programs received more votes than Kevin Sumlin’s Arizona squad.  OUCH!!

During 2019’s contest, USC, scored 41 while only allowing 14 and with a more experienced Kedon Slovis directing the offense, the possibility of the Trojans dropping half a hundred on the Wildcats is not out of the question.  Unless the Arizona defense can improve upon giving up 36 points per game which was their average in 2019, this game could be a rough one for Arizona. 

There was some mild concern when two teams met in Los Angeles last year; USC, was cobbling toegther a MASH unit on the injury front, however, Kenan Christon, made his mark leading the Trojans with a 100-yard rushing performance, and on defense the Kanai Mauga led the team in tackles with 13.  It was a complete team domination with Clay Helton clearing the bench getting everyone a chance to see the field.

With no threat of a mobile quarterback or solid run game from the Wildcats, if the Trojan defense can contain Gunnell and the Wildcat passing attack, this game could have a similar outcome to last year’s...with a couple of late cosmetic scores by the Wildcats at the end of the game.

If there is a concern for the team and the fans...this will be USC’s first game on the road and as we’ve seen from the games being played across the country, turnovers, penalties, and overall sloppy play could rear it’s ugly head if the team is not prepared and focused.

USC 59

UA 23

Josh An

Well, well, well. After I predicted a USC victory over ASU last week, I’m predicting a season sweep of the Arizona schools for the Trojans when they visit the Wildcats in Week 2. 

Last year, the Wildcats finished a measly 4-8, and USC took care of business at the Coliseum in this matchup last season. The biggest difference between last year and this year’s matchup will be the Wildcat signal caller. Instead of the dual threat Khalil Tate, the Trojan defense will have to prepare for the more prototype QB Grant Gunnell. 

Gunnell was just ok in last year’s game, and while he showed flashes of being a good player, he’s nowhere in the league of Kedon Slovis or even Jayden Daniels, yet. He’s going to have to take a huge step forward in Year 2, with most of his surrounding cast back, if the Wildcats are going to be a viable threat this year.

On defense, Arizona returns Colin Schooler, who is one of the conference’s better linebackers, but the Wildcats will have holes to plug around its unit. New secondary coach Greg Burns has a challenge on his hands in Tuscon trying to create a strong secondary as well.

Overall, the only potential roadblock for a Trojan victory I see is the fact that this game is on the road. After a battle against ASU, I’m predicting a Trojan blowout in Week 2.

USC 52 UofA 17

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