2012 Sun Bowl, USC vs. Georgia Tech: Trojans and Yellow Jackets Tied 7-7 At Halftime


Dec. 31, 2012; El Paso, TX, USA; USC Trojans running back Silas Redd (25) breaks a tackle by Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets linebacker Brandon Watts (11) during the first half during the Sun Bowl at Sun Bowl Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

The scoreboard finally lit up in the second quarter after Georgia Tech succinctly marched down the field culminating in QB Vad Lee connecting with David Sims in the endzone.

After a strong performance in the first quarter, the Trojan defense came unglued slightly once the Yellow Jackets started opening up the passing game. If USC cannot find away to contain them through the air, Georgia Tech will run away with this one.

Offensively for USC, they have yet to pick up the tempo or play with any kind of urgency or creativity. Be it three wide receiver sets, passing strictly out of the Shot Gun formation or trying to run it up the gut from Power-I, the Trojans have not made it difficult for Georgia Tech to defend them. The Yellow Jackets even gave the Trojans a scare when on third down, Max Wittek threw a screen pass to RB Curtis McNeal who bobbled it and saw it subsequently recovered by Georgia Tech. The play was ultimately deemed an incompletion and not a fumble, but the Trojans had to punt it away nonetheless.

USC almost caught a break on Georgia Tech’s drive, when Vad Lee through a perfect pass right to Trojan LB Lamar Dawson. With the momentum finally swinging in their favor, Max Wittek threw a poor pass and Georgia Tech’s Rod Sweeting was all over it. But Georgia Tech apparently did not want the ball either, because on their next play they coughed it up when USC DE Morgan Breslin brought heavy pressure on Lee.

USC settled down a bit after the back-to-back-to-back turnovers, and put together a quality drive for the first time on the afternoon. Wittek connected with WR Robert Woods over the middle for 23 yards, and then Redd ate up 20 more yards down the sideline before he was finally dragged down. Wittek then hit Redd from nine yards out, and an early candidate for Play of the Day ensued: Redd judged the swing pass, bobbled it, brought it into his body and dove for the pylon, all in one fluid motion.

The Trojans tied it at seven just as the half was coming to a close, and will carry the momentum out of the half when they take over on downs again.

Both teams have much to work on if they want to make this Sun Bowl interesting, as the first half has been sloppy and filled with poor decisions.

The Yellow Jackets have 163 total yards to USC’s 116. Max Wittek has completed seven of 13 passes for 58 yards and one touchdown, while GA Tech’s Vad Lee has completed two of four passes for 26 yards and a touchdown.