No. 9 USC beat Arizona 43-41 in triple overtime


Football | October 7, 2023

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Los Angeles (AP) Caleb Williams He actually doesn’t like to run with the ball, even though he’s clearly great at it.

When ninth-place USC football needed the Heisman Trophy winner to leave his comfort zone on an inspired challenge from Arizona, Williams got it done with his legs in triple overtime. this task.

“Just doing my job,” Williams said. “Whatever it takes to win the game.”

Williams rushed for three touchdowns and then ran for two scores in the third overtime, and No. 9 USC held off Arizona’s last-ditch attempt in a wild 43-41 victory on Saturday night. .

Williams passed for 219 yards and four touchdowns for the Trojans (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12), who missed a 25-yard field goal attempt on the final drive of regulation after Williams led by 59 yards. Try with 2:08 left in the final minute.

Williams got out of the jam and calmly led USC to score in each of the three overtime periods.The Trojans called a two-point attempt unorthodox in the third overtime, with the entire offensive line moving to the sideline before Williams caught the ball from tight end mcrea lake Then run the other way and deftly pull the ball up to the pylon.

“The lanes kept opening up,” Williams said of his 41-yard rush. “They kept leaving. They left me with big lanes. I know I haven’t run much this year. I don’t really like running, to be honest. But you have to do what you can do.”

When the defender completes the defense Mason Cobb Leading DJ Williams back block on the line. USC was able to celebrate after falling behind by 17 points early and missing numerous opportunities on the road.

Undefeated in gymnasium while coaching at USC Lincoln RileyAfter 1 1/2 years in charge, the Trojans fell behind for the first time this season and ultimately needed another stellar effort from their star quarterback to survive the Wildcats’ dynamic upset competition.

“You don’t want to get yourself into that situation,” Riley said. “But when you’re in it, you can feel sorry for yourself, or you can dig yourself out.”

Noah Fifita threw for 303 yards and two of his five touchdown passes to Jacob Cowing in overtime, but the Wildcats (3 -3, 1-2) but jumped out to a huge lead, gained 99 yards in penalties and fell just one step away from a signature win under third-year coach Jedd Fisch.

“I think the 21-point deficit is probably going to end pretty quickly,” Fish said. “We have a really good team and unfortunately we lost two games in overtime and one game by a touchdown. I think our team is as good as we are right now. As good as any team will be in the future, and they’re getting better.”

Both teams have reason to regret their late execution and decision-making.

USC took a 28-20 lead early in the fourth quarter on Williams’ second touchdown, and Arizona closed the game with 8:17 on a gutsy touchdown pass and Fifita’s two-point conversion pass. Number tied. The Wildcats forced a USC punt and drove down midfield, but Tyler Loop missed a 50-yard field goal attempt with 2:08 left.

Then the Trojans were held scoreless after scoring first with 24 seconds left. Williams fumbled a pass and turned the ball over again, then hit a lob on fourth down that forced USC’s ballhandler from his crouch and plunged the gym into silence.

Williams rushed 18 yards for a touchdown in the first overtime, but Cowing caught Fifita’s pass for a touchdown on Arizona’s first overtime snap. The Wildcats didn’t go for a two-point conversion with victory in hand, a decision Fish said afterward he didn’t regret.

“I trust Coach Fish,” Fifita said. I told him going into the last overtime that I believed in him no matter what his name was. I don’t doubt him. We wouldn’t be here without him. He called it a great game. There were some plays I didn’t execute and that would have changed the outcome, but I’m still learning and I trust him. “

Cowin scores again to open the second overtime, but USC safety Karen Bullock Blocked Fifita’s pass in transition attempt. Austin Jones Then rushed for an 11-yard touchdown for USC, but Williams missed the hit Brendan Rice To win.

Tanner McLachlan caught an early touchdown pass from Fifita. Fifita, an Orange County native who had a large group of family and friends in the stands, did an excellent job filling in for the injured Jayden de Laura. Fifita won 25 games in 35 games.

Cowing caught 10 passes for 87 yards and four touchdowns, and Jonah Coleman added 143 yards.


The Trojans travel to No. 10 Notre Dame next Saturday to defend gem Hilera. USC returns home next week to host No. 18 Utah. Tickets to the game start at $85.

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