Arizona Football: Top 5 Wins Vs. USC

This Saturday the Arizona Football team hopes to get back on track against a team that historically has given them nightmares.

When you think of USC Football, All-Americans, National Championships and Heisman Trophy winners zap through your brain.

The Cats have an 8-31 all-time record against the men of Troy, but that hasn’t stopped Arizona from notching some significant wins on their belt when they have faced the Trojans.

Here are the Top 5 wins against the Trojans in Arizona Football history.

5. Oct. 2, 1993

USC                            7

Arizona (No. 12)  38

Jan 29, 2014; New York, NY, USA; ESPN NFL analyst <a rel=

Wildcats fans had always wished the Cats could dominate the Trojans the way USC had dominated teams for decades.

In 1993 their wish became a reality when the Cats played its most complete game ever against their L.A rivals.

The Trojans had no answer for Penn State transfer Dan White‘s three touchdown passes and his 228 yards in the air.  The Cats also had seven players combine for over 200 yards rushing as a team.

It was no surprise to those fans at a jam-packed Arizona Stadium that the famous Desert Swarm defense stopped everything the Trojans tried to do offensively. The only score by the Trojans was a meaningless touchdown with less than five minutes left in the fourth quarter.

Tedy Bruschi and Rob Waldrop‘s crew held the Trojans to 186 total yards of offense.

4. Oct. 27, 2012

USC (No. 10)    36

Arizona             39

Oct. 27, 2012; Tucson, AZ, USA; Arizona Wildcats quarterback <a rel=

Going into the 2016 season, Rich Rodriguez‘s teams have defeated a top-10 team four years in a row. USC and their head coach Lane Kiffin was the victim of Rich Rod’s inaugural campaign.

In a game that had a combined 1,206 yards of total offense for both teams, the difference for Arizona it’s five takeaways against USC led by Marquis Flowers two interceptions. The intended target was Jacksonville Jaguars Marquis Lee. He also added a forced fumble.

Can’t forget this team also had Chicago Bears running back Ka’deem Carey who carried the ball 28 times for 119 yards. And Austin Hill who caught 10 passes for 259 yards.

Arizona fans can thank Mike Stoops for saving Matt Scott‘s final year of eligibility for Rich Rod’s first season. Scott finished with 369 passing yards with three touchdowns and 100 rushing yards to boot.

The Cats had to hold on late to defeat the Trojans. Matt Barkley‘s final two heaves fell incomplete, and the Cats pulled off the last win they have had against the mighty Trojans.

Here are the highlights from the entire game, don’t miss the end!

3. Oct. 20, 1990

Arizona              35

USC (No. 15)    26

The Arizona defense dampened Todd Marinovich‘s Heisman crusade by holding him to only 174 yards passing.

He also threw three interceptions, including a pair to eventual 1990 Jim Thorpe Award winner Darryl Lewis.

The win gave Cats fans sweet revenge over former Arizona head coach Larry Smith, who left Tucson after the 1986 season to set up shop at USC.

He would take the Trojans to the Rose Bowl three times during his six seasons in L.A.

2. Dec. 5, 2009

Arizona              21

USC (No. 20)    17

Sep 13, 2015; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams quarterback <a rel=

Mike Stoops spent his entire career in Tucson losing close games to the Trojans. When he arrived in Tucson in 2004, USC was the hottest brand in college football.

In 2009, Stoops five years of frustration against Pete Carroll ended in great fashion.

Late in the fourth quarter Nick Foles, who had a broken bone in his left hand, connected with star receiver Juron Criner for an unbelievable 36-yard touchdown strike, giving the Cats a late four-point lead.

As the final seconds ticked away, the Arizona defense came up big when they sacked Matt Barkley on the last play of the game during a failed Hail Mary attempt by the future NFL quarterback.

After the season Carroll caught the first flight he could to Seattle, and the Seahawks have been a juggernaut ever since.

1. Oct. 10, 1981

Arizona            13

USC (No. 1)     10

Oct 25, 2014; Pullman, WA, USA; Arizona Wildcats mascot, Wilbur, looks on during a game against the Washington State Cougars during the first half at Martin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

What if I told you Arizona was 21.5 point underdogs to the No. 1 Trojans on the road at the Coliseum and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Allen had 211 yards rushing in that game?

The Cats would definitely be limping back to Tucson, right?


In one of the greatest moments in Arizona Football history, little brother Arizona went on the road to big brother USC and shocked the college football world with a 13-10 win.

Tucson kid Vance Johnson gave the Cats the lead for good late in the fourth quarter when he caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tom Tunnicliffe.

The Arizona defense was lead by legendary Wildcat Rickey Hunley and his game-high nine tackles. The defensive unit held the potent Trojan offense to 297 total yards, nearly 200 yards below their season average.

It was the first time Arizona beat the No. 1 team in the country, and the first time they got a W against the Trojans.

BearDown Arizona!

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