Wednesday, October 22, 2008

USC Vists Arizona in Key Pac-10 Clash

As a six-year Tucsonan, and a long-time fan of Pac-10 football, I can't recall the last time Arizona (the U of A) was involved in a key Pac-10 clash that didn't involve a round ball. Kind of cool. I'm sure USC is favored by a fairly wide margin, but stranger things have happened.
Two of the top teams in the Pac-10 are set to clash in Tucson this weekend, as the sixth-ranked USC Trojans tangle with the Arizona Wildcats in a key showdown.

The Trojans enter the contest off one of their most impressive wins of the season, a 69-0 blanking of Washington State last weekend. It marked the program's largest shutout victory since posting an identical 69-0 win over Montana in 1931. The shutout was also the second in a row, a feat USC last accomplished in 1971. Winners of three straight, the Trojans are currently tied with three others teams for first place in the Pac-10 standings at 3-1.

"This is a championship matchup for sure, and we are going to try to take the momentum that we're building here out of the first half of the season and take it to Tucson and see if we can get ourselves a win," said head coach Pete Carroll of this weekend's important bout.

One of those teams is Arizona, which upset then 25th-ranked California 42-27 last weekend. It was a nice rebound for the Wildcats, as they were handed their first league loss at Stanford (24-23) the prior weekend. At 5-2 overall, Arizona is certainly a team to be aware of, especially at home, where it has gone a unblemished 4-0 this season.

Saturday's game will mark the 32nd all-time meeting between the two programs, with USC holding a commanding 25-6 lead in the series. The Trojans have won the last six meetings versus Arizona, including a 20-13 triumph a year ago.

I have to cheer for the hometown kids in this one. Go Cats!

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