Saturday, September 24, 2011
By Pedro Moura
An 'F' for the first half and a 'C' for the second half equals a 'D' overall. Matt Barkley was seriously off early on but rebounded to make some nice throws late in the game when Marqise Lee made himself available. The picks and fumble were killer, though.
This was a true tale of two halves situation. Marc Tyler had just 26 yards at halftime but racked up 97 yards in the third quarter alone and finished with 149 on the night. Even so, he failed to break any huge gainers with his supbar speed.
IN THE TRENCHES
The second half of the game was the best 30-minute stretch the USC offensive line has played all season. But the first half was pretty horrific. And the much-hyped defensive line got next to no pressure on ASU quarterback Brock Osweiler throughout.
There were standout performances from a few players, like strongside linebacker Dion Bailey, but the secondary play was by far the worst of the season and Osweiler did whatever he wanted much of the time. Big plays were an issue, like last season.
Andre Heidari got a mulligan on his first field goal attempt of the night, but he still finished 3-for-3 on the night and kept the Trojans in the game in the first half. Kyle Negrete's punts were quite good and gave USC positive field position.
Lane Kiffin's second-half playcalling showed an understanding for what would work against the Sun Devils and involved quite a few adjustments, like moving Rhett Ellison back to tight end. But, in the end, the Trojans' first-half hole hurt them. Using freshman Amir Carlisle was questionable.