USC did not look impressive offensively at the beginning of the second quarter. The injuries continued to pile on as the night only got colder, with offensive tackle Aundrey Walker leaving the game. Abe Markowitz came in for him, and Cody Kessler got sacked on the very next play.
The Trojans had a lot of trouble establishing the run game, having only had nine carries for 25 yards with 10 minutes left to go in the half.
USC’s defense however kept the momentum going when defensive end Leonard Williams smacked Sefo Liufau, and George Uko recovered the fumble when Liufau coughed it up. The offense took over inside the Colorado 35-yard line. Kessler hit Soma Vainuku near the first down marker, then handed it off to Buck Allen, who darted inside the 20-yard line. Allen took another handoff and scrambled near the goal line, but got held up. On first and goal, Allen got stuffed again. The third time was the charm though for USC, with Allen spinning his way into the endzone for a one-yard touchdown.
Colorado looked to be building a solid drive, but when Liufau looked to find a receiver deep down the sideline, safety Dion Bailey easily picked it off. It was Bailey’s fifth interception on the season, putting him back in the lead over Su’a Cravens, who has four.
Creeping into Colorado territory, Kessler hit Xavier Grimble on the sideline for a short gain. Allen took the next dump off across the first down marker, and two plays later, Kessler hit Nelson Agholor for another first down.
Kessler dropped back and found Agholor in the endzone, for an easy 20-yard score for the Trojans. With it, the Trojans went up 23-0 on the Buffs.
Colorado turned the ball over twice in the second quarter, and both times USC scored.
The Trojans finished the half hot, but it’s been a slow start for USC in Boulder. USC had 206 total yards in the first half, while limiting Colorado to 73. Cody Kessler is 17-of-23 for 169 yards and two scores. For Colorado, Sefo Liufau has completed four of 15 passes for 43 yards, and has thrown one interception. Buck Allen leads USC’s ground game with 12 carries for 33 yards, and interestingly, tight end Xavier Grimble is getting it done through the air, with six catches for 46 yards.
USC has completed five of nine third down attempts, and has only give up two third-down conversions to the Buffs.