A strong first half offensively by running back Marc Tyler and quarterback Matt Barkley led the USC Trojans to a 21-14 halftime lead over the Arizona Wildcats in Tucson. Neither team played much defense, but the Trojans were aided by a missed field goal and a turnover by Arizona. Both teams combined for 455 yards of offense in the opening 30 minutes.
USC scored touchdowns on their first three drives, the second of which was a short drive thanks to a sack and forced fumble by Shareece Wright of the Trojans on Arizona quarterback Nick Foles. Arizona had drives of 78, 80, and 80 yards, but the first those was halted by a missed 34-yard field goal by Alex Zendejas in the first quarter.
Tyler rushed for 80 yards on 14 carries in the first half, and scored the third touchdown for USC with 3:46 remaining in the first half to temporarily give USC a 21-7 lead. Tyler also caught a pass for 16 yards. Barkley completed 15 of 20 passes for 123 yards, rushing for one touchdown and completing a touchdown pass to tight end Rhett Ellison.
The Trojans got the ball back with a seven-point lead and 1:17 remaining in the second quarter, and drove down the field, but the drive stalled. From the Arizona 45-yard line and 11 seconds left, Barkley had Ronald Johnson open down the middle for what could have been a touchdown, or at least a big gain. Barkley's hail mary attempt as time expired fell incomplete.
The Trojans will receive the ball to open the second half.
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