After two quarters, USC is tied with Wazzu 7-7. Following a strip-sack on Cougs quarterback Connor Halliday, QB Cody Kessler kept the ball on a play-action bootleg for a 4-yard score. At the end of the quarter, as the Trojans threatened in the red zone, Kessler threw an interception to cornerback Damante Horton, who ran it back 70 yards.
Fortunately, the defense isn't in Monte Kiffin's Cover-2, because the unit has been the Trojans' saving grace so far tonight.
Linebacker Morgan Breslin had a great second quarter, sacking Halliday once and applying lots of pressure in the backfield. Defensive linemen George Uko and Leonard Williams forced the fumble on the Wash St. QB, after which linebacker Devon Kennard recovered it and ran to the 22-yard line.
Uko was also a force. He ripped his way through the Cougars offensive line like a starving man scavenging an unopened bag of chips.
The offense clung onto life due to running back Tre Madden. The former linebacker has 11 carries for 45 yards.
Cody Kessler faced conservative play calling but also didn't do much with what was given to him. He was 8-for-13 passing for 41 yards. Conventional wisdom says Max Wittek comes in ASAP.
The offense was 0-for-6 on third down. They have 78 yards on offense. Only way to go is up, right?
Stay tuned for the second half.