SALT LAKE CITY — Fueled by turnovers, Utah got off to a quick start against USC tonight at Rice-Eccles Stadium, but the Trojans came roaring back to take a 24-21 lead at halftime.
It would have been hard to script a better start for the Utes. On just the second play, USC quarterback Matt Barkley recovered an errant snap — only to have the ball ripped away from him by Ute defensive lineman Nate Fakahafua, who then returned it 8 yards for a touchdown.
On USC's next possession, defensive lineman Star Lotulelei recovered another errant snap to give Utah the ball on the Trojan 13-yard line. Two plays later Jon Hays hit Kenneth Scott in the corner of the end zone to put Utah up 14-0 with 12:57 remaining in the first quarter.
USC responded with an eight-play, 75-yard scoring drive that was capped off with a Silas Redd 3-yard touchdown run. The Trojans then added a field goal from Andre Heidari at the 12:53 mark of the second quarter to cut the definict to 14-10.
The Utes then responded with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Hays to DeVonte Christopher at the 8:54 mark. The scoring drive covered 81 yards in just eight plays.
The next score came with USC tight end Randall Telfer making a spectacular one-handed grab in the end zone at the 7:54 mark. The touchdown cut Utah's lead to just four points, 21-17.
USC ended the first-half scoring with a 6-yard pass from Barkley to Robert Woods to give the Trojans the lead, 24-21, entering the half.
USC finished the half with 190 yards of total offense to Utah's 188.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @BrandonCGurney
Copyright 2015, Deseret News Publishing Company