Despite USC carrying momentum into the second half, Cody Kessler got sacked to start it off and couldn’t muster up anything on the first drive. After failing to get anything going, Kessler stood on the sidelines for USC’s second drive of the half as Max Wittek got his shot to make a case for himself.
Kessler ended the night completing 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards and one touchdown, with one interception.
Given the chance to run the offense, Wittek looked no more impressive than Kessler at the outset. He got sacked twice, and got forced of the field in back-to-back three-and-outs.
Though the defense continued to strangle Hawaii’s offense, a few silly penalties allowed Hawaii to move the ball down the field. As it looked like Taylor Graham and his Warriors were going to finally strike, USC safety Dion Bailey picked him off–the fourth INT of the night for USC–and cut off the momentum.
USC has six sacks and four picks going into the fourth quarter, a stat line that has kept USC alive this game.
True freshman Justin Davis got his chance to show why he will be the future of USC’s ground game, breaking off a 18-yard run for a first down to get USC from deep out of its endzone. He followed that up with another first down rush, this time for 14 yards. Wittek finally found his footing and hit Marqise Lee from 18-yards out for another first down, and with it, Wittek completely his first pass on the night. Davis then ground out another good run, carving eight more yards out of Hawaii’s defense.
USC closed the quarter knocking on Hawaii’s door, and looks poised to score going into the fourth quarter. It won’t be pretty, but the Trojans should secure the W before this one is over.