After a first quarter that saw both the Trojans and Huskies score off of turnovers, the Trojans settled down and rebounded on their opening drive of the second quarter. WR Marqise Lee made his first catch of the night, a 24-yard beauty where he shook and juked his way for extra yards. Later, Barkley hit one of USC’s big-body tight ends, Xavier Grimble, from 18-yards out for the third Trojan touchdown. Fellow TE Randall Telfer did not make the trip to Washington, as he is thought to have sprained his ankle last week against Utah. Grimble though is doing exactly what one expects a 6-foot5, 260-lb machine to do: catching balls over the middle and running it in to score.
By answering so quickly, USC swung the momentum back in its favor. The Trojan defense forced another three-and-out of the Huskies, really making QB Price feel the heat. So much so, that on 3rd and three LB Anthony Sarao got tremendous pressure on him and forced Price to scramble right into the Williams/Breslin sack. Later, Breslin again got to Price for a sack and then another half-sack, bringing his total to 7 on the season.
An ironic moment happened when the FOX commentators spotlighted C Khaled Holmes, and how since he has returned since being injured against Stanford, USC hasn’t given up any sacks. On the following play, Barkley got sacked.
USC and UW went tit for tat for a few drives with neither really getting anywhere, but with five minutes to go in the half, USC’s special teams came up with a huge play. CB Anthony Brown, who we have not seen much of this season, blocked UW P Travis Coons’ punt, recovered it himself, and trotted in seven yards for a touchdown to make it 24-7, USC.
The Trojans are controlling this game, mostly thanks to the tremendous effort from the D-line, holding the Huskies to just 87 yards of offense (29 rushing) in the half. USC has gained 233 yards of offense themselves, getting a first down a pop through the air and 7.3 yards per touch on the ground.