The Trojans have started to concede a bit to the Aggies, but USC leads Utah State 14-7 as it heads into halftime.
Utah State started the second quarter by breaking off a 55-yard run courtesy of Aggies running back Joey DeMartino. Knocking on the Trojans door again, Chuckie Keeton found a receiver on third-and-goal—who made a remarkably athletic grab—to quickly tie it at seven with the Trojans.
With it, the Trojan first-team defense gave up their first touchdown on the year.
USC went three-and-out on its next drive. When Utah State took over on downs, they gave the Trojans a scare when Keeton connected with a wide receiver for a 30-yard gain. it was ultimately called back due to a penalty against the Aggies, which halted the drive and led to a punt from Utah State.
Mental mistakes from the Aggies have bailed the Trojans out more than once this game, and have prevented them from turning the game in their favor.
Tre Madden and true freshman Justin Davis put in work for USC, grinding through the Utah State defense for a couple of first downs and a third-down conversion.
Kessler then dropped back and hit wide receiver Marqise Lee for a first down conversion, and on the next play, he hit tight end Xavier Grimble for a wide-open, 30-yard touchdown to give the Trojans the lead again.
When Utah State had the ball back, they moved it a little but the Trojan defense gave up nothing. Outside linebacker Devon Kennard brought Keeton to the ground with a furious sack, causing the Coliseum crowd to erupt in cheers.
Things were looking good for USC—Kessler had just hit Marqise Lee for a big pick up—when he was sacked and fumbled the ball. Utah State recovered, and the crowd tempered a bit.
But then George Uko laid another big sack on Chuckie Keeton, bringing the crowd to raucous cheering once again. The defense quickly swept Utah State off the field, giving the offense a chance to get on the board one more time before the half.
At the half, Cody Kessler is 8-of-12 for 106 yards and one touchdown. The Trojan defense has done well trying to contain Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton, who has completed 12 of 21 passes for 113 yards and one touchdown as well.
Tre Madden is on his way to his fourth 100-yard game this season, having 63 yards on 14 carries and one touchdown so far. Four different Trojans have caught a pass–Marqise Lee, Nelson Agholor, Xavier Grimble and Madden-for a total of 106 receiving yards.
While the team is playing fairly well, the Trojans need to work on executing in the second half, and limiting careless penalties.