Tate will have to put Arizona on his back in order to really be able to open up the game and give the Wildcats a chance to win. If Tate can create some passing opportunities and connect with wide receiver Tony Ellison, the Wildcats may be able to take advantage of the injury-riddled Trojan defense. Although, if Arizona is unable to establish the passing game, the USC defense may be able create more stops.
The Arizona offense and play calling will have to be exceptional to overpower USC. Even though the USC defense is injury-riddled, they are still a tough opponent and can never be counted out. It may seem to many that Arizona’s offense is a one man show but that was where Washington State went wrong. The Wildcats offensive play calling will have to be better than the Trojans and they will have to establish the run game, without Tate, or establish the passing game early.
The Trojans will be facing a rising force in the PAC-12 in the Arizona Wildcats. Tate will be a big issue for the USC defense but if they can replicate their performance from last week against the Sun Devils, USC will win. If USC running back Ronald Jones II can get off to a quick start and get going early, it will free up quarterback Sam Darnold to get the ball to wide receivers Tyler Vaughns and Deontay Burnett and tight end Tyler Petite. Darnold has an abundance of weapons at his disposal to propel the Trojans to a win. Burnett has racked up 788 yards receiving and eight touchdowns so far this season and will be looking to extend his touchdown number.
The USC defense will have to create stops and force turnovers to win. If the Trojans defense can avoid being exposed, this will be another game that USC can add to the win column. If they are exposed defensively, Darnold and the offense will have to pick up the slack, which could be very risky as Darnold has struggled at times when being relied on to carry the team. If USC head coach Clay Helton can continue his great play calling, USC should roll over a rising Arizona team.
Something USC can actively look forward to is the fact that the Trojans play significantly better at home. USC cannot go into this game expecting to win, or they will be sorely upset if they lose when they could have performed much better. Arizona will have to be running at 100 percent in every phase of the game in order to upset the Trojans. If Arizona can take some of the pressure and focus off of Tate, they may be able to open up the rest of their offense and keep the USC defense on their heels. The PAC-12 After Dark game is set for 7:45 PM PST November 4, 2017 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum aired live on ESPN.