USC Loses To Conference Rival Wildcats 21-17 in Final Home Game of the Season
The University of Southern California Trojans knew heading to a major bowl game was no longer an option. Last week's excruciating 21-17 loss to the Arizona Wildcats was just adding insult to injury.
With three minutes and 14 seconds left in the game, Arizona scored the game-winning touchdown on a 36-yard pass play from Quarterback Nick Foles to receiver Juron Criner.
Coming off a 28-7 victory over UCLA just two weeks ago, the Trojans were looking for their second straight win.
"I'm so frustrated, I've never seen USC like this even when I was growing up," said USC safety Will Harris. "We have to show the young guys how to finish this last game off."
Arizona led 14-7 at halftime and later drove for 80 yards to score 21-17, pulling off the victory as Foles threw the touchdown.
"You don't realize that you can lose any game on any day. You have to bring it, because all teams are good.
"It shows that no matter what your ranking is, if you don't improve every time you come out on the field, this is what can happen," said USC safety Taylor Mays.
"There have been a lot of lessons learned this year," said freshman quarterback Matt Barkley. "There is a lot I can take with me in this off season and the next season, such as knowing what to expect."
This year the loss was especially tough for the seniors who finished at the Coliseum on a sour note.
"The young guys can take away from this season that just because we're the Trojans, that doesn't mean anything," said USC offensive lineman Jeff Byers.
"You have to show up and play every game, like you're the underdog, the 0-12 team or you have the only chance to win a game and it will be this game,"
Byers, a senior at USC, will miss playing for the Trojans.
"It's hard and this is not how you want to leave a great institution such as this," said Byers.
The USC Trojans wrapped up its least successful season falling out of the top 25 for the first time since 2001.
While the Trojans have finished the regular season on a low note, all is not lost. USC has an opportunity at redemption when they play the Boston College Eagles in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26.
Now the Trojans have no other choice but to "fight on" and hope for a better season next year.