Cody Kessler found Marqise Lee deep for an 80-yard touchdown to invigorate home crowd in the Coliseum, and the Trojans jumped out 14-0 over Boston College with nearly nine minutes to play in the half. Head coach Lane Kiffin also sprinted nearly 50 yards down the sideline after Lee as he headed for daylight. For Lee, the touchdown marked his 208th catch, making him third-all time for USC in receptions.
In an exciting moment, wide receiver Marqise Lee blocked a punt and returned it for a touchdown, but an offsides penalty on the nose guard nullified it.
On the next punt, Nelson Agholor fielded it and ran it for 14 yards, but then a late hit penalty on freshman linebacker Quinton Powell negated that as well.
The Trojans moved down the field but didn’t score, as a few careless penalties ate up some of the yards the offense gained. USC has six penalties for 65 yards already in the game, and it’s those silly mistakes that prevent the Trojans from dominating as they should.
With under a minute to play in the game, Tre Madden fumbled inside the USC 10-yard line, but the Trojans recovered after the ball bounced around for a few seconds. Tight end Randall Telfer got dinged on the play but walked off the field of his own accord.
With six seconds left, USC called a timeout, and out of it they took a knee, for a strange ending to the first half. Overall, it was a good half for the Trojans, and they take the momentum and the lead with them into the locker room.
At the half, Cody Kessler is 11-of-12 for 174 yards and two touchdowns. The Trojan defense is stifling BC, giving up only 63 yards (34 through the air) and recording one sack. Trojan running back Tre Madden has 12 carries for 54 yards and one touchdown, while the freshman Justin Davis has six carries for 30 yards. Through the air Marqise Lee is finally able to look like himself, having two catches for 90 yards and a touchdown. He moves to third overall for USC in total receptions, with 209 so far on the day. The entire passing game is clicking today, with Nelson Agholor, Xavier Grimble, Randall Telfer, and De’Von Flournoy all recording catches as well.
The Trojans need to keep up this intensity in the third quarter, and really put this one out of reach for Boston College.