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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona trails USC 21-13 at halftime

Tyler Besh

In one of the stranger first halves of the season for Arizona, the Wildcats trail USC 21-13.

With less than four minutes remaining in the second quarter, UA quarterback Matt Scott threw an interception to USC linebacker Dion Bailey on a tipped ball in the Trojan’s red zone. Bailey carried the ball out about 15 yards before fumbling it back to Arizona.

The topsy-turvy play led to an eventual 44-yard field goal from John Bonano. The wacky first half included five turnovers (four from USC) and 18 total penalties for 178 yards.

Arizona linebacker Marquis Flowers forced three of the turnovers, intercepting two Matt Barkley passes and forcing a fumble.

Last week, Barkley completed 19-of-20 passes for six touchdowns. In the first half on Saturday at Arizona Stadium, Barkley already had eight incompletions and two interceptions. His two touchdown passes, however, helped to overcome the turnovers.

With 4:36 remaining in the second quarter, Barkley found his favorite target Marqise Lee for a 49-yard touchdown. Lee torched the Wildcats secondary in the first half to the tune of 12 receptions and 255 yards. Barkley finished the half 21-of-29 for 321 passing yards, while Scott was 16-of-31 for 191 yards and one touchdown — an eight-yard score to Johnny Jackson in the first quarter.

USC closed out the half with a 3-yard touchdown run from running back D.J. Morgan, which came following pass completions of 32, 15 and 28 yards to Lee.

Arizona had one last drive at the end of the half, and Bonano nailed a field goal try which would have brought the UA within five, but a holidng penalty negated the attempt and Bonano missed his next try.

On the Trojans first drive, after three third down conversions they were at the 34-yard line. USC running back Silas Redd carried the ball to the left side of the field, was appeared to be brought down, but the whistle hadn’t been blown yet so he walked into the end zone as Arizona defenders looked on in disbelief. Disaster was averted, though, as upon further review it was revealed that Redd’s elbow touched the ground.

USC followed that up with a 15-yard penalty, and then Barkley’s interception to UA linebacker Marquis Flowers on a pass intended for All-American receiver Marqise Lee. The Wildcats almost went three-and-out, but after David Richards dropped a pass from UA quarterback Matt Scott,USC safety T.J. McDonald was flagged 15-yards for taunting.

The next play was a 30-yard completion to Austin Hill into the red zone, and soon after Scott found Jackson for the 8-yard touchdown. Jackson didn’t play against Washington due to injury, but started today in the slot.

While not on the level of Lee, Hill had a solid first half in catching seven balls for 143 yards.
In the first quarter, Matt Scott was 5-of-9 with 106 yards and a touchdown, including a season-long 56 yard completion to Hill that set up a 27-yard field goal from John Bonano. The UA could have led 14-0, but a rushing touchdown by Ka’Deem Carey was called back due to a holding penalty from right tackle Fabbians Ebbele.

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