October 4, 2012; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Southern California Trojans safety Jawanza Starling (29) breaks up a pass intended for Utah Utes wide receiver Kenneth Scott (2) during the first half at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE

USC vs. Utah: Trojans Still Lead 24-21 After The Third Quarter

After a first half filled with craziness, the Trojans and Utes mellowed out in the third quarter. They went tit for tat for most of the half, with the defenses preventing anything from being done by either team. The Trojan did move the ball down the field into the redzone on their first drive of the third quarter but they committed another costly penalty, this time a hold for ten yards. Backed up now from third & inches to third & 14, the Trojans could not convert and had to settle for a field goal. Only, Heidari shanked it wide right, and USC came away empty-handed.

This was only Heidari’s third missed field goal of his career.

Barkley looked like a completely different QB than the one from the first half, throwing crisp passes and hitting all of his targets, all the time. He’s on fire, and he needs to stay that way if USC is to win out.

SC found a way to keep Utah DT Star Lotulelei from blowing up their running game by exploiting the edge and running around Utah’s D. It seems to be working, as he has be quiet since the first quarter. The surprise of the quarter though had to be USC”s use of RB D.J. Morgan, who has spent much of his career in Kiffin’s doghouse for committing one too many fumbles. Through three quarters, he has five carries for 31 yards, two of those carries giving USC first downs to keep their drives alive. Prior to this game, he only had seven carries on the season, but he is proving to be a solid relief candidate for Silas Redd.

Though WR Woods has had some exciting catches, it is Lee who has been really giving Utah’s secondary a headache. With nine receptions for 104 yards, he is burning defenders after the catch and gobbling up yards after the catch.

In spite of USC’s turnaround, they have racked up 11 penalties for 75 yards, a testament to how undisciplined they still are, five games into the season.

For Utah, there offense hasn’t been able to do much. The Wall of Troy forced three-and-outs on back to back possessions, giving USC’s offense more time to keep momentum in their favor.

USC currently has racked up 313 total yards of offense to Utah’s 210, and if they keep chipping away at the Utes defense while putting up fierce defensive play of their own, USC will escape Utah with a win.

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