Saturday, October 27, 2012
Halftime: USC 21, Arizona 13
By Ted Miller
TUCSON, Ariz. -- It was a horrible first half of football between USC and Arizona, but it was partially redeemed by Trojans receiver Marqise Lee, who was unstoppable.
Lee caught 12 passes for 255 yards with a TD in the first half. Yes, you read that correctly.
USC quarterback Matt Barkley completed 21 of 29 passes for 321 yards with two TDs. He also had two bad interceptions and a couple of throws that should have been intercepted.
Lee's brilliance made normally "wow!" numbers from Arizona receiver Austin Hill -- 7 receptions for 143 yards -- seem almost mundane.
But all of the fine playmaking at receiver was overshadowed by the sloppiness. The Trojans had eight penalties for 79 yards and four turnovers. The one turnover they forced from Arizona, they promptly fumbled away.
Both teams killed big plays with drops -- receptions and interceptions.
Arizona got into the act with 10 penalties for a season-high 99 yards. The Wildcats saw a made field goal on the last play of the half taken off the board after a holding call. The subsequent 36-yard effort was no good.
The Trojans came back from a 10-0 deficit. They are trying to get to a marquee matchup with Oregon next weekend, but they probably need to play better in the second half to get out of Tucson with a W.
Arizona gets the ball to open the third quarter.