LOS ANGELES CA - OCTOBER 02: USC Trojans fans cheer during the game with the Washington Huskies at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 2 2010 in Los Angeles California. Washington won 32-31. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Les Miles-esque clock management aside, it was a perfectly scripted opening half for USC.
The nation's 116th ranked passing defense held Andrew Luck to just 129 yards through the air. Outside of a Stanley Havili fumble, the offense largely took care of the ball, and won the time of possession category despite deferring to the second half. For the most part, they didn't do anything stupid (just 2 penalties for 10 yards) en route to two offensive touchdowns. In short, they kept themselves in the game.
But what was most remarkable about the first 30 minutes was the fact that 'SC's offense looked explosive against a Stanford team largely considered to be more disciplined, and at some positions, even more talented. Despite a running game that produced just 47-yards on the ground, Matt Barkley threw for nearly 200 yards, and freshman wideout Robert Woods tallied 117 of those yards with seven receptions and a touchdown.
Some of the same problems exist. Poor tackling. The defense is often out of position, particularly when plays break down (see: any Andrew Luck run). And the use of timeouts raised a few eyebrows yet again.
But as a unit, they're making plays on offense, and not throwing in the towel even with many opportunities to do so. They're in position to pull off the upset. It'll be tough, but considering how the first half went, it's certainly within the realm of possibilities.
This is your second half thread. Post away.