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USC Vs. Minnesota: USC Escapes Second Half Rally by Minnesota, Wins Opener 19-17

The No. 25 ranked USC Trojans entered the second half leading Minnesota 19-3 at halftime. The Trojans had all of the momentum on their side as they had first possession of the ball to beginning the second half, however some drops from receivers and mistakes resulted in the Trojans struggling as they didn’t score in the second half, but survived the rally from Minnesota as they win their first game of the season, 19-17.

Matt Barkley completed 34 of his 45 passes, good for a 76 completion percentage, and threw for 304 yards and three touchdowns, all caught by sophomore receiver Robert Woods, who set a USC record for catches with 17 caught passes, good for 177 yards.

In the third quarter, a miss snap from center Khaled Holmes, which resulted in a 32-yard loss on fourth down, allowed the Minnesota Gophers to score their first touchdown when Minnesota’s Duane Bennett ran it in for the 9-yard score.

Momentum shifted on the Gopher’s side soon after as they stopped DJ Morgan on fourth and down, turning over the ball on downs. USC only had 64 yards rushing the entire game, 70 yards by DJ Morgan, who led all rushers.

Minnesota quarterback Marqueis Gray had to exit the game in the third after suffering from cramps and true freshman quarterback Max Shortell entered the game. Shortell impacted the game throwing for 98 yards on 7 of 13 passing with a touchdown in the fourth.

A punt late in the fourth quarter from USC had Minnesota in position to win the game via field goal with 2:53 to go, but a interception pass from cornerback Torin Harris denied any opportunity of that happening.

The Trojans will try to regroup from a sub-par win as they host Utah (1-0) next week to open conference play. Game starts at 4:30 PT.

For more from this game and other news and information regarding the USC Trojans, visit Conquest Chronicles.