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NCAA Game Summary - Arizona at Southern California



(Saturday, December 5th)

Final Score: Arizona 21, (20) Southern California 17

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - Nick Foles led an 80-yard drive and threw a 36-yard touchdown pass to Juron Criner late in the fourth quarter, giving Arizona a 21-17 victory over 20th-ranked USC in the regular-season finale for both teams.

Foles was 22-of-40 passing for 239 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Criner caught six passes for 71 yards while Delashaun Dean hauled in five passes for 58 yards and a score.

Foles also rushed for a score for Arizona (8-4, 6-3 Pac-10), which ended its schedule on a high note with back-to-back conference wins and beat USC for the first time in eight tries.

"I don't know what USC is going through, I just know that if you beat them you have to pretty dog-gone good in a lot of different ways. They're still USC and to beat them...I'm very proud of our players and coaches for that effort," said Arizona head coach Mike Stoops.

The Wildcats' four losses this season came by only 10 or fewer points.

Freshman Matt Barkley completed 20-of-37 passes for 144 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Allen Bradford ran for 66 yards and a score on 11 touches for USC (8-4, 5-4), which was in unfamiliar territory to close out its 2009 slate.

The Trojans had won seven straight Pac-10 titles, but had their hopes dashed for an eighth with an embarrassing 55-21 loss to Stanford back on November 14.

"Definitely with the record and some of the losses we've had, it's very disappointing," said Barkley of the Trojans season.

USC gained its first lead of the game at 17-14 by taking the ball 56 yards in 12 plays to set up Jordan Congdon's 37-yard field goal just about halfway through the fourth quarter.

Undeterred, Foles led the Wildcats 80 yards down the field, converting a pair of third-down plays with 13 and 11-yard pass completions, before hitting Criner up the left sideline for a 36-yard touchdown and a 21-17 lead with 3:14 to go.

The Arizona defense held firm, sacking Barkley on first down for a five-yard loss. Two incompletions brought up fourth down, and a poorly thrown deep ball by Barkley over the wrong shoulder of Damian Williams up the seam turned the ball back over to Arizona with 2:20 left to play.

The Wildcats effectively shed all but three seconds from the clock before turning it back over to USC on downs. A last-ditch heave from the Trojans' own 21 never materialized as Barkley was blind-sided on an Earl Mitchell sack to end the game.

Arizona got into the end zone on its second turn with the football, thanks in large part to a Barkley pass that was picked off by Trevin Wade at the Trojans' 37. Foles' seven-yard pass to Criner converted a 4th-and-5 play and Dean's four-yard grab on third down put the Wildcats up 7-0 just over six minutes in.

A pair of punts followed before USC took over at its own 20 late in the quarter and embarked on a 13-play scoring drive. Barkley kept it himself to convert a 3rd-and-1 play early on and found Ronald Johnson for a 16-yard touchdown to tie the game 2 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.

Arizona responded by shaving nearly eight minutes off the clock during a 15- play, 90-yard scoring march that ended with Foles' one-yard keeper for a 14-7 difference.

The Wildcats had to convert three third-down plays during the trek, and twice Foles connected with William Wright for big gains of 26 and 19 yards.

Both offenses hit the skids early in the second half until a Bradford five- yard touchdown run with 1:46 left in the third quarter capped a 53-yard Trojan drive and tied the game at 14.

Game Notes

Wright caught five passes for 66 yards in the victory...Keola Antolin led the Wildcat rushing attack with 51 yards on 13 carries...Williams totaled 51 yards on eight grabs and Johnson nabbed five passes for 50 yards for the Trojans, who were outgained 321-282 by Arizona...The Wildcats converted 9-of-17 third downs while USC was 5-of-13...In regard to the all-time series between USC and Arizona, the Trojans own a commanding 26-7 advantage.

12/05 23:50:25 ET