Arizona hires UCLA assistant Johnny Nansen as defensive coordinator

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Arizona has hired UCLA defensive line coach Johnny Nansen as its defensive coordinator.

Nansen replaces Don Brown, who left to become the head coach at Massachusetts.

Nansen spent the past two seasons coaching the Bruins’ defensive line and has coached in the Pac-12 since 2009. He previously spent six seasons as an assistant at Southern California, serving as assistant head coach while working with the linebackers and recruiting efforts from 2016-18.

Nansen served in a variety of roles at Washington from 2009-13, including a stint as assistant head coach. He also worked at Idaho from 2004-08 after playing three seasons at Washington State.

London’s injury dampens USC’s 41-34 victory over Arizona

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LOS ANGELES – Drake London caught nine passes for 81 yards and two touchdowns before leaving the Coliseum field with a serious right leg injury late in the first half, dampening Southern California’s 41-34 victory over winless Arizona on Saturday night.

Keaontay Ingram rushed for 204 yards and a touchdown, and Gary Bryant Jr. caught two TD passes as the Trojans (4-4, 3-3 Pac-12) snapped their three-game home losing streak. They also extended the Wildcats’ epic skid to 20 games, the longest active slide in the Football Bowl Subdivision and the longest in Pac-12 history.

But London left the Coliseum field on a cart after injuring his right leg while making his second touchdown catch on a 6-yard pass from Jaxson Dart. London, who set an FBS record with 79 catches in his team’s first seven games this season, returned to the USC bench in the second half with a cast on his leg.

Anthony Pandy returned an interception 37 yards for a touchdown early in the second half for Arizona (0-8, 0-5), which lost to USC for the ninth straight time despite a strong rally from a 21-point halftime deficit.

Will Plummer, who passed for 264 yards, rushed for a 16-yard TD with 12:50 to play. Arizona hit two field goals later in the fourth quarter, but Calen Bullock recovered an onside kick with 1:25 left to seal USC’s win.

Tayvian Cunningham caught an early 73-yard touchdown pass for the Wildcats, who scored at least 20 points for the first time in 11 games since last Nov. 21. They remained winless under rookie head coach Jedd Fisch.

Kedon Slovis and Dart threw two touchdown passes apiece while sharing time behind center for the Trojans. Slovis passed for 204 yards despite the pick-6, while Dart passed for 109 yards in his first appearance since getting hurt in his impressive debut at Washington State last month.

After Ingram scored on USC’s opening drive, Cunningham caught his long TD pass from Jamarye Joiner, the Arizona receiver who moonlights as a wildcat quarterback.

The Trojans came right back with Slovis’ 62-yard TD throw to Bryant. Slovis went 9 of 11 for 145 yards in the first quarter before he was replaced by Dart, the promising freshman who replaced an injured Slovis in Pullman and passed for 391 yards and four touchdowns before getting injured himself and missing the next month.

Dart immediately led a 96-yard drive capped by a short TD pass to London. After London got hurt, Slovis added another TD pass to Bryant 32 seconds before halftime.

THE TAKEAWAY

Arizona: This one was close, and signs of progress are there. The Wildcats posted their second-biggest point total during this losing streak. Plummer looked composed during the comeback. The defense tightened up in the second half. Matchups with Cal and Washington State in November look downright winnable.

USC: If London played his final collegiate snap in this game, the Trojans will lose one of the school’s best-ever receivers before he racked up the season-long accomplishments that would truly reflect his dominance. It would be yet another setback for a team trying to put together a decent finish before its new head coach is named.

UP NEXT

Arizona: Hosts California next Saturday.

USC: At Arizona State next Saturday.

Tedy Bruschi returns to Arizona as senior advisor

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports
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TUCSON, Ariz. — Tedy Bruschi is returning to Arizona football.

The school announced Brusci will serve as a senior advisor to new coach Jedd Fisch.

Bruschi was a two-time consensus All-American and the Pac-12 Defensive player of the year during his four-year stint in Tucson from 1992-95. He went on to play 13 NFL seasons with the New England Patriots, winning three Super Bowls before retiring in 2009.

Bruschi served as a lead analyst after his retirement.

His duties at Arizona will include serving on the executive football management team and as a consultant to the football staff. He also will assist Fisch with alumni relations, fundraising, social justice initiatives and student-athlete development off the field.

Fisch was hired last month to replace Kevin Sumlin.