UCLA continued to look like the better team in the second quarter. After starting at the 20-yard line, the Bruins quickly chewed up yards thanks to poor tackling by the Trojans. This time, the Bruins with 80 yards in eight plays and capped the drive with a one-yard rush from former Trojan commit and defensive lineman-turned offensive lineman, Eddie Vanderdoes.
In the early goings of this game, USC’s defense wasn’t getting any pressure on Hundley, and was getting beat on every pass. UCLA capitalized on the lax play, turning those opportunities into points.
USC got things together a bit on their next drive, punching it up the middle by way of Buck Allen and Silas Redd for a couple of first downs. Later, Cody Kessler rolled out and targeted Nelson Agholor downfield, and hard Agholor caught it, it might have been a score. It did result in a 15-yard pass interference call that benefitted the Trojans, however.
On the edge of field goal position, Kessler again rolled towards the sideline and found Marqise Lee at the last second to convert on a crucial third down. Allen broke a few tackles and darted down the field for 12 yards and another USC first down. Kessler fed Allen again, and 10 yards later, he found the endzone with ease. Although in looking at the replay it looked as if he dropped it before crossing the plane, the Pac-12 referees did not review it, and the touchdown stood.
The Trojans went 80 yards in 11 plays to get on the board for the first time of the night.
Special teams continue to be a major area of concern for the Trojans. UCLA took the kickoff all the way out near the 50-yard line, setting up UCLA in decent field position for their next drive.
The Bruins, armed with swing passes and Brett Hundley’s legs, moved the ball rather easily against the tired Trojan defense. However, on 4th-and-1 in the redzone, safety Demetrius Wright brought down Bruin Myles Jack behind the line of scrimmage for no gain. USC took over on downs, and with it, stood in position to swing momentum in its favor.
It wouldn’t happen though, as USC once again went three-and-out.
Going into the half, the Trojans are gaining momentum, but the UCLA Bruins will not give up either. The USC defense is tired, and the offense really needs to find ways to keep itself on the field. UCLA on the other hand seems to be doing just find against the stout Trojan defense, beating them with ease on swing passes.
Cody Kessler is struggling, completing only five of 10 passes for 34 yards. UCLA’s Brett Hundley on the other hand is nine of 13 for 113 yards, and has 34 rushing yards of his own. Buck Allen leads the ground game for USC with 69 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries, and UCLA’s Paul Perkins leads through the air, with two catches for 43 yards.