Two turnovers in the red zone hurt the USC Trojans in the second quarter, as they saw their lead over the Utah Utes trimmed to 10-7 at halftime at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, in the first ever college football game in the Pac-12 Conference.
Ryan Lacy intercepted Matt Barkley on the Utes' 15-yard line as the Trojans were driving looking to add to their 10-point lead. On their next drive, USC drove to the Utah 12-yard line, but D.J. Morgan coughed the ball up on a first-down run.
Barkley nearly threw interceptions twice earlier in the first half, and like the interception all were on throws to fullback Rhett Ellison. One pass in the first quarter was a sure touchdown for Utah had the ball been caught, but that wasn't really Barkley's fault, because Ellison didn't turn his head to realize the ball was headed in his direction. Another throw to Ellison, this one thrown across the field by Barkley, simply was underthrown.
USC's defensive line was dominant at times, stuffing the run and forcing quarterback Jordan Wynn to throw short passes, but a late second quarter drive gave the Utes' their first score of the game, culminating in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Wynn to DeVonte Christopher with 34 seconds remaining in the second quarter.
The Trojans held John White IV to just 19 yards rushing on 12 carries, but he had those 19 yards on his last five carries, including third-down conversions for first downs.
For more discussion on the first half, check in with the group at Conquest Chronicles.