No. 18 USC leads Oregon State 21-10 at the half in a game full of scores that were not part of the game plan.
Trojans defensive back-turned-linebacker Su’a Cravens opened the scoring with a 31-yard interception return for a touchdown at the 5:11 mark of the first quarter. Ryan Murphy immediately responded for the Beavers, taking the ensuing kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown.
Trevor Romaine gave Oregon State a 10-7 lead with 11:14 to go in the second quarter on a 38-yard field goal, but Cody Kessler closed the half with two touchdown passes – one conventional, one not – to give the Trojans a comfortable lead at the break. The first came on a 16-yard pass to running back Justin Davis with 7:16 to go in the half, and the second came on a 48-yard Hail Mary to Darreus Rogers as time expired.
Rogers’ catch was the rare Hail Mary grab where the receiver leaps from the end zone, comes down at the one yard-line and actually has to step back into the end zone to complete the prayer.
Kessler has completed 17-of-22 passes for 183 yards with those pair of scores, while Sean Mannion has countered with 107 yards on 11-of-19 passing with two interceptions. Neither team has gotten anything done on the ground; Oregon State is out-rushing USC 39-13.
Oregon State will receive the ball to open the second half.