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101113-OrgeronFans may wonder why Lane Kiffin wasn’t fired sooner after the USC Trojans took down the Arizona Wildcats 38-31 Thursday night at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.

Seven different rushers combined to gain 249 yards on 45 carries for the Trojans, including the debuting Silas Redd, who added a team-high 80 yards on 19 carries.

But USC got off on the right foot not on the ground, but through the air as Cody Kessler hit two lengthy passes of 62 and 63 yards to Nelson Agholor and Tre Madden respectively, giving them a 14-0 lead after a quarter.

Kessler completed 15-of-30 passes for 297 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions, good for a quarterback rating of 90.6.

Agholor would finish with the bulk of those yards, taking in seven receptions for 161 yards.

After a Jake Smith 27-yard field goal to cut the lead down to 14-3, the Trojans took to the ground seeing Justin Davis score on an 11-yard run followed by Javorius Allen‘s 1-yard score, boosting USC to a 28-3 lead.

Arizona’s QB B.J. Denker would connect with Nate Phillips for a 57-yard touchdown grab prior to the end of the half as Arizona entered the locker room trailing 28-10.

Denker would come alive in the second half, throwing for three more touchdown passes as he completed 28-of-44 passes on the evening for 363 yards and four total scores.

If not for Allen’s second touchdown of the evening, we could have been looking at overtime here as Denker’s final TD pass cut USC’s lead to 38-31.

However USC managed the clock well, getting the ball with 4:18 to play and watching Redd run the clock down to 0:00 as USC improved to 4-2 on the season and 1-2 in the Pac-12.

Meanwhile Arizona falls to 3-2 and 0-2 in the conference. Much of which was due to the Trojans’ effort of keeping Ka’Deem Carey out of the end zone despite his gaining 138 yards on 21 carries.

Up next for the Trojans is a trip to South Bend for a date with Notre Dame Saturday Oct. 19 at 4:30 p.m., a game that can be seen on NBC.