USC Quarterback Caleb Williams Scores in OT Win Over Arizona
(Credit: Jevone Moore)

It was Trojan Family Weekend, and what a weekend it was. On Saturday night, the USC Trojans defeated the Arizona Wildcats, 43-41, in triple overtime at the LA Coliseum. The No. 9 Trojans remain undefeated overall and in Pac-12 play (6-0, 4-0 Pac-12), and they have defensive back Mason Cobb to thank for their unblemished record. Cobb and teammate Prophet Brown made the final defensive stop during Arizona’s last two-point conversion attempt in the third overtime.

“To me, personally, I don’t want to win by 40 points. I get bored,” Cobb said. “You want that grind…that grit, man.”

USC Wide Receiver Brenden Rice makes a play in victory over Arizona
(Credit: Jevone Moore)

USC got off to a stagnant start. They trailed 17-0 in the second quarter, and the Wildcats were energized.

“You come out slow and give a team like that some energy, some juice, they get going, you go down quick,” USC quarterback Caleb Williams said. “It was just tough fought game. We kept fighting.”

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Williams ran into the endzone from four yards out with 9:43 remaining in the second quarter, putting the Trojans on the board. Denis Lynch’s extra point was good. The score was 17-7 in favor of the Wildcats. In the final seconds of the second quarter, Williams would find Kyron Hudson on a five-yard pass. The kick was good: Wildcats – 17, Trojans – 14.

USC QB Caleb Williams credits defense in win over Arizona. Christian Roland-Wallace makes a defensive stop.
(Credit: Jevone Moore)

Arizona would score first at the beginning of the third quarter, leading the Trojans 20-14. With 5:44 remaining in the third, running back MarShawn Lloyd would score with a 9-yard touchdown run; the Lynch extra point was good, and the Trojans were up by one point, 21-20.

At the top of the fourth quarter, Trojans quarterback Williams would score on a keeper, a one-yard run, and a good extra point. Trojans would lead 28-21. The Wildcats would answer and tie the score 28-28.

Jamil Muhammad celebrates the final defensive stop that sealed the win over the Wildcats.
(Credit: Jevone Moore)

The Trojans would march down the field, setting up a 25-yard field goal attempt to win the game in regulation, but a botched snap sent the game into overtime. According to the Trojans website, this was the first overtime play in the Coliseum since 2017.

In the first overtime, Williams would score on an 18-yard run with a good Lynch kick. Trojans led for a minute, 35-28. The Wildcats would answer, and the score at the end of the first overtime was tied 35-35.

The second overtime saw the Wildcats strike first with a 25-yard pass from quarterback Noah Fifita to receiver Jacob Cowing. The Wildcats would miss their two-point conversion. The Trojans would score with an 11-yard Austin Jones touchdown run. The Trojans would fail on their two-point conversion.

Raleek Brown (Credit: Jevone Moore)

It took a third overtime for the Trojans to come away with the win. Williams would run in the two-point conversion, and Mason Cobb and Prophet Brown would make a defensive stand against the Wildcat’s two-point attempt. All season, the Trojan’s mantra has been “The Longer we go, the better we get.” And USC head coach Lincoln Riley agreed:

“We certainly had a lot of moments where we didn’t play very well, certainly in the beginning of the game,” Riley said. “But our team’s fight and resolve to get back and find a way to win that was some of the just craziness that happened in this game.”

The Trojans hit the road next week to face Notre Dame on Oct. 14.