Staff Predictions: Week Five

Garic Wharton

Arizona will face USC on Thursday. Read on to see who WildcatAuthority.com thinks will win.

Cody James Martin: This game is tough to call because it seems both sides have factors working for and against them.

Two weeks ago, it would have been Arizona by a touchdown, but then Lane Kiffin was fired. It will give the Trojans some extra motivation for the game. The damper for USC is that Marqise Lee is not playing and that handicaps the offense quite a bit.

USC still has a few weapons on the ground, but so does Arizona. The defenses will be the difference makers in this game. USC won't be able to contain Ka'Deem Carey, but it will be able to force a turnover or two in the passing game, which will be the difference in the game.

USC 20, Arizona 17

Overall: 3-1

Scott Coleman: This may be the toughest game to predict all season long given the circumstances.

If Lane Kiffin was still in charge, I think Arizona wins. Kiffin is gone, though, and we have no clue what kind of team the Trojans will be under Ed Orgeron.

Marqise Lee is questionable for the game and obviously his ability to make up for the Trojans' shortcomings at quarterback is huge. There's also the unconventional Thursday night start time which can throw teams off a bit.

With how poorly B.J. Denker has played this season, I just can't see the 'Cats pulling out a road win against a motivated USC squad. It'll be a close game throughout, but UA falls short in the closing minutes.

USC 33, Arizona 24

Overall: 4-0

Michael Luke: Even with the beating the unit took against ASU, I still like this Trojans defense.

Look for the litany of talented Trojan pass rushers led by Leonard Williams, who I believe is the top defensive line NFL prospect in the country, to disrupt running lanes.

The USC back seven is inconsistent, but incredibly talented, and it will be a chore for the UA skill guys to get open.

Although Carey will always get his yards, USC poses major problems for Arizona's passing game. Look for Denker to struggle early and often, in what very well could be the last start of his UA career.

USC 24, Arizona 7

Overall 4-0

Jason Scheer: As soon as Kiffin got fired, I immediately thought USC would beat Arizona and haven't changed my opinion yet.

I will admit that USC's injuries makes this game extremely intriguing, but it is hard to pick an Arizona team with no passing game.

If the Wildcats somehow get that going on Thursday, all bets are off and Arizona definitely has a legitimate shot. However, the Trojans are going to load the box and make Arizona throw and that's likely a recipe for success at this point.

USC 31, Arizona 17

Overall: 4-0

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