Arizona and newfound star Khalil Tate at quarterback play at the L.A. Coliseum tonight against the USC Trojans. Here is a look at the matchup by the numbers:
USC running back Ronald Jones II is close to 3,000 rushing yards in his career. He is presently at 2,957. Only eight of USC’s fabled running backs in history have eclipsed that mark. Jones can join today the likes of Charles White, Marcus Allen, Anthony Davis, Ricky Bell, O.J. Simpson, Mike Garrett, Reggie Bush and LenDale White.
The year USC defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast graduated from Arizona. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. Pendergast, a graduation of Tolleson High School in Phoenix, did not play football with the Wildcats, but he did coach his fraternity team (Phi Gamma Delta). Twenty-seven years after earning his degree at Arizona, he now must devise a plan to calm the storm Tate has caused in college football.
Tate’s four-game rushing tally in October, which includes a 70-plus yard run in each game (both FBS firsts in last 10 years).
Arizona ranks fifth nationally with 338.6 rushing yards per game.
USC’s defense ranks 65th nationally against the run, allowing 164.8 years a game.
Three of the Pac-12’s top five freshman tacklers are from Arizona — LB Tony Fields II leads with 58, CB Lorenzo Burns is next with 53 and LB Colin Schooler is fourth with 48. Under the radar with the publicity of Tate’s performances, Schooler became a starter four games ago — when the Wildcats started their winning streak.
Arizona has scored 45 points in four straight games for the first time in program history.
The Wildcats lead all FBS teams with 36 offensive plays of at least 30 yards this season.
Arizona’s defense has forced 19 turnovers in eight games. Last year, it had 14 takeaways in a dozen games.
USC’s home winning streak is its longest since 21 in a row from 2001 to 2004. It is currently the third longest regular season home winning streak in the nation (behind Navy’s 17 and Alabama’s 16).
USC quarterback Sam Darnold’s record at home. He has won 16 of his 19 career starts.
Seven times in Arizona’s Pac-10/12 existence (since 1978), the Wildcats have put together a four-game winning streak past the month of October. Only twice has it lasted longer — five games in 1992 with the Desert Swarm defense and 1998 when the Wildcats finished the season winning seven consecutive games to go 12-1. If Arizona beats USC today, it will join the lore of those teams.
No surnames on the back of USC’s jerseys ever. USC is the only FBS school never to have surnames on the back
of its jerseys.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.