Updated 7:45 p.m. ET: USC wide receiver Marqise Lee finished the day with 16 receptions for 345 yards and a pair of touchdowns, good enough to break school and Pac-12 records.
It wasn’t good enough to get the win.
Arizona left USC in disbelief in the desert, knocking away a Matt Barkley pass in the endzone as time expired to beat the No. 10 Trojans 39-36. Barkley finished with 493 yards passing and three touchdowns, but the Trojans defense couldn’t stop Matt Scott and the Wildcats offense, either. Wildcats receiver Austin Hill had a career day with 259 yards receiving as well.
A BCS championship appearance, practically handed to the Trojans in the preseason, is growing ever-dimmer. A Pac-12 championship appearance isn’t guaranteed either. UCLA, Arizona State and Arizona are all in a battle for the Pac-12 South title, and all still play two more divisional games against opponents in that group.
It might be more even in the Pac-12 South from top to bottom this season, but it looks like it’s going to be a lot more fun as well.
Before today’s game against USC, Arizona coach Rich Rodriguez told ESPN his defense needed to do its best to limit big plays by guys like Robert Woods and Matt Barkley.
Maybe Marqise Lee should have been added to that list. Lee has pulled in 12 passes for 255 yards and a touchdown — all in the first half. Seeing as the No. 10 Trojans only lead Arizona 21-13 at the half, one could reasonably assume Lee’s day isn’t over yet, either.
USC has racked up almost 400 yards of offense so far, but turnovers (the Trojans have four) and penalties (18 for 178 yards total between the two teams) have really been the story of the game.
Well, outside of Lee’s incredible first half, that is.
If this is the last game Randy Edsall coaches at Maryland, at least he is making it count. Maryland may be down at the half, but the overmatched Terrapins are giving No. 1 Ohio State all it can handle it would seem. Ohio State holds a 21-14 lead on Maryland at the half, with big plays being the key.
Maryland struck first when Perry Hills connected to an open D.J. Moore down the middle of the field for a 52-yard touchdown and a 7-0 lead. Ohio State would battle back, switching up the quarterbacks between Cardale Jones and J.T. Barrett along the way. The Buckeyes ripped off three touchdowns, with Barrett and Ezekiel Elliott each running for one and Jones throwing for the third, to Braxton Miller. Up 21-7, all seemed to return to normal for the Buckeyes, but Maryland cut the lead to seven late in the first half.
Hills broke free for a 75-yard run from the Maryland 22-yard line all the way down to the Ohio State three, and he finsihed off the quick touchdown on the next play with a short touchdown run. So Maryland continues to linger, which appears to be a theme with Ohio State’s opponents this season.
Jones has completed 15 of 20 pass attempts for 195 yards and a touchdown for Ohio State. Barrett attempted just one pass, which was good for a 20-yard gain. Elliott has just 25 rushing yards on 11 attempts at the half.
Nobody could have seen this coming, even after throwing out the records. A week after being ambushed by TCU, Charlie Strong and his Texas Longhorns looked like a completely different team in the first quarter against No. 10 Oklahoma in the old Cotton Bowl. Texas holds a surprising 14-3 lead at the half.
Jerrod Heard completed a 24-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Johnson midway through the first quarter. The Longhorns made it 14-0 when a break went their way. Lorenzo Joe recovered a fumble in the end zone for a score to make it 14-0 after Oklahoma had fumbled away the ensuing kickoff after the first score.
Texas outgained Oklahoma in the first quarter, 133 yards to just 15, and at the half (169 yards to just 85). Oklahoma went three-and-out on each of its two drives, and the Sooners had to punt four times before being able to put a dent on the scoreboard with a short 21-yard field goal by Austin Seibert after a 12-play drive stalled at the Texas four-yard line. Meanwhile, Texas was building a double-digit lead.
Without a doubt, the first half of this game was the best half we have seen from Texas in a while. Can they keep it going and score what would be a significant upset to get our day started?