There were a lot of reasons for the USC Trojans to be happy about the first half at Martin Stadium, and most of them involve Stanley Havili. The first time the fullback touched the ball, he ran 59 yards for a touchdown, and the second time he touched the ball he took a quick slant and turned it into a 58-yard gain. Havili touched the ball seven times in the first half, and amassed 161 yards, helping the Trojans to a 28-13 lead over Washington State at halftime.
Defensive back Nickell Robey got burned on a trick play on the Cougars' first drive, a touchdown pass from wide receiver Jeffrey Solomon to Jared Karstetter, but Robey rebounded in a big way. He picked off Jeff Tuel on the next series, returning the ball 24 yards for a touchdown, and added another interception later in the half.
However, even though the Trojans lead 28-13, the turnovers are a reason for concern. Matt Barkley threw two interceptions, and made at least one other throw that could have been picked off. Running back Allen Bradford also fumbled, giving USC three turnovers in the first half.
Both teams had three turnovers in the first half. USC gained 311 yards in a balanced attack, 153 rushing and 158 passing. Washington State moved the ball as well, with 230 yards, including 172 yards in the air, a note of concern for the Trojans in the early part of the season.
USC was penalized only twice in the first half, for 12 yards.
The Trojans will receive the ball to start the second half.