The USC Trojans lead the Arizona Wildcats, 14-6, at the half on the back of an outstanding half from Javorius Allen at running back and the Trojan defense.
Allen ripped off two long runs for scores on his way to racking up 106 yards on eight carries and a catch for 18 yards in the half.
On defense, the Trojans held the Wildcats without a touchdown, forcing four field goal attempts of which just two were successfull converted.
At quarterback, Cody Kessler was 10-of-14 for 104 yards, but he threw his first interception of the season near the end of the half. For Arizona, Anu Solomon threw the ball 38 times for 205 yards but was unable to get the Wildcats into the endzone.
After the Trojan drive to start the quarter fizzled out on a bad snap, the USC defense stunted the next Wildcat drive as Su’a Cravens tipped one pass and Leonard Williams sacked Solomon to force a punt.
It was Allen once again taking the Trojan offense on his back, ripping off an even longer run this time from 48-yards out to extend the USC lead.
The Wildcats failed to answer on their next drive, with USC’s defense maintaining their control of the game.
The Trojans were held on their ensuing drive deep in their own territory as well.
With the ball back, Arizona drove the ball down the field and a bizarre series of plays saw the referees assess a personal foul penalty on USC after reviewing and overturning an illegal pass penalty against Solomon. On the following play, Leonard Williams hit Terris Jones-Grigsby hard enough to dislodge the ball and knock the running back out of the game.
The refs stayed a talking point hitting USC with a holding penalty on a long third down conversion. Replaying the down, Kessler evaded pressure more than once to give the Trojans a chance, but his pass lacked the velocity to find his receiver beyond the first down marker and Jonathan McKnight made him pay by intercepting the ball.
Soloman overthrew a receiver in the endzone on the resulting drive and once again the Wildcats had to settle for a field goal attempt. The Trojan special teams unit led by Claude Pelon blocked the kick and kept USC’s lead at eight.
In the first quarter, the USC defense successfully deployed a bend-but-don’t-break attack against Arizona’s high-flying offense, forcing the Wildcats into three field goals, two of which they converted.
The Trojans were not at their sharpest on offense, but Allen provided the spark in the early going with a long touchdown run to give USC the slim lead.
Stay tuned to Reign of Troy for more USC vs. Arizona score updates and post-game content.