Saturday, October 29, 2011
Halftime: Stanford 10, USC 6
By Kevin Gemmell
LOS ANGELES -- Some observations from the first half of Stanford-USC.
Turning point: There were two. First, when Zach Ertz went down on the opening kickoff. Stanford's offensive identity revolves around the three tight ends and the way they are used schematically. A large portion of the playbook gets lost when those three can't be on the field at the same time. The second turning point was A.J. Tarpley's interception, which led to a Stanford field goal.
Stat of the half: Seven rushes, 25 passes for USC. It appears the Trojans think they can get it done in the air rather than on the ground. They haven't abandoned the running game -- but they certainly haven't put much emphasis on it. USC quarterback Matt Barkley is 14-of-25 with 127 yards.
Best player for Stanford: Tarpley is having a whale of a half. He had the interception, forced a fumble (which was recovered by USC) and has six tackles from his middle linebacker position.
Best player for USC: Kicker Andre Heidari appears to be the only kicker who can do something against the Cardinal. Kickers in previous games were just 2-of-11 on field goal attempts. Heidari hit a 22-yarder in the first quarter and then nailed a 50-yarder in the closing minute of the first half.