Tomey: Southern Cal 'a lot better' than we are

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

At his weekly pregame press conference Tuesday, Arizona head coach Dick Tomey said Southern Cal had not "even worked up a sweat yet."

The Trojans still haven't. And they may not have to do so until Jan. 1.

Outmanned on both sides of the ball, it became apparent to the Wildcats and the 58,503 fans in attendence that the distance between USC and the rest of the Pacific 10 Conference is something like a third-and-long, which, ironically, is where Arizona spent most of Saturday night.

In fact, it was so bad for the Wildcats that they came within 51/2 minutes of being shut out at Arizona Stadium for the first time since 1964, when they tied Iowa State 0-0.

So the question of the day was, did the Wildcats play that bad or are the Trojans really that good?

"We got beat badly, which usually is not as bad as you think, just like a win usually isn't as good as you think," Arizona head coach Dick Tomey said. "They're a lot better team than we are at this point."

That was like saying that the Titanic is a lot bigger ship than the S.S. Minnow.

The Trojans' victory began with their preparation. Having studied the Arizona defense, they were able to expose weaknesses like no other teams have been able to. USC quaterbacks Brad Otton and Kyle Wachholtz used the three-step drop to neutralize the normally effective Wildcat pass rush.

"You try to get a rush on the quarterback and the next thing you know the guy already threw the ball," Arizona defensive end Tedy Bruschi said. "It's frustrating."

"I wouldn't say (the team is) worried, we're pretty much frustrated," Arizona quarterback Dan White said of the offense that has produced just two touchdowns in the last eight quarters.

Keyshawn Johnson, Southern Cal's Heisman Trophy candidate, played like one, and the Trojan defense kept the UA in check most of the night. The Wildcats' lone touchdown came with 19 seconds left in the game long after USC head coach John Robinson had called off the dogs.

"We just didn't make the plays when we had to," White said.

"You guys have got to remember that this is a young team," Arizona receiver Richard Dice said. "Don't bash us too much. Come Monday we're thinking about Cal."

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