Utah State has come a long way in the past few years when there is a disappointing feeling when they trail USC 14-7 at the half. A blowout was not expected by any means for Utah State, so trailing by a touchdown at the half is huge for this program.
So far, Utah State has struggled on defense stopping the Trojans running game as they have allowed 66 yards to Tre Madden, and most of that came in the second half. USC quarterback Cody Kessler has been efficient but not great by completing 8 of 12 for 106 yards and a score.
Utah State has been forced to throw the ball more than they would like with Chuckie Keeton completing 12 of 21 for 113 yards and an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Swindall.
The USC defensive front has done a good job using their 5-2 defense to contain Keeton who has been sacked two times and has minus-14 yards rushing. Keeton is having trouble even rolling out and moving the pocket to make plays against this USC defense.
Keeton seems to be forcing too many balls and not placing any touch on his passes. There have been a few passes that could have used a nice touch and been completed, but a laser is thrown and the receivers were unable to catch the ball.
There was one questionable officiating call in the first half that hurt Utah State. The Aggies had a 2nd-and-10 at their own 31-yard line, and Keeton connected a pass to a wide open Aggie around the Trojans 40-yard line. However, it was called back for an ineligible man downfield on center Tyler Larsen, however there was no USC defender within yards of Larsen and he was maybe a yard pass the line. He had zero bearing on the play and a very questionable call.
In the second half, Utah State needs to get their ground game moving better and giving Keeton more time to throw. Also, slow down the USC ground attack and make USC throw, because outside of a 30-yard pass for USC the passing game has been held in check.