USC-Minnesota live blog

Today’s game kicks off at 12:30 on the West Coast.  All updates will be timestamped with game time. Be sure to check out our Twitter feed for instant info at

8:32 4th quarter (USC 32-14)- TOUCHDOWN USC.

Bradford seals the deal with a 56-yard touchdown run up the middle. He was barely touched on the play and it caps a great day for the demoted starter. He now has 11 carries for 125 yards and a touchdown and he deserved that score as he’s been the best offensive player for the Trojans all day. He should regain the starting spot over Marc Tyler, who has just looked out of it today, next week in Pullman.

The Trojans actually looked like they were stopped on 3rd down on their own 16-yard line, but were bailed out by a 15-yard facemask penalty on the Golden Gophers (that’s usually the Trojans’ job to bail out other teams). That allowed the drive to continue. USC only has 6 penalties for 56 yards and it looks like they’ll stay under the century mark for the first time this year.

13:30 4th quarter (USC 26-14)- Sorry folks, my computer is not being friendly with me today. But we have a  TOUCHDOWN USC. Barkley throws a nice lofted ball to David Ausberry from the opposite hash to the back corner of the end-zone. Let’s recap a wild third quarter. Minnesota scored a touchdown midway threw the third quarter on a 31-yard pass to go up 14-13. But that didn’t last long as on the ensuing kickoff, freshman Robert Woods broke through the first wave of Golden Gophers and ran the rest of the way untouched enroute to a 94-yard kickoff return. The two-point conversion failed. It looks like USC will hang on to this one and Minnesota punts with 11:33 left in the 4th quarter.

HALFTIME (USC 13-7)- It’s halftime here in Minnesota. Overall, it’s been a fairly monotonous game. Both offenses have looked mediocre but for the 2nd week in a row, USC’s defense is stepping up to the challenge. The Golden Gophers, who average 488 yards per game, have just 109 yards of total offense in the first half. For the Trojans, Barkley threw his first interception of the year late in the 2nd quarter. He threw over Rhett Ellison’s head before Ellison came out of his break looking for the ball. Other than the 53-yard touchdown pass to Johnson, Barkley has looked pedestrian. The Trojans will get the ball to start the 2nd half and need to score on their first possession. The longer they keep the Golden Gophers hanging around, the more confident Minnesota will get.

0:04 2nd quarter (USC 13-7)- Bizarre ending to the first half. With the ball and 1:30 left, Minnesota decides to run out the clock instead of trying to march down the field for a field goal or touchdown. With 40 seconds left, the Gophers finally call a timeout and on the next play, QB Adam Weber throws an interception to Jawanza Starling down the middle of the field. However, on the very next play, Barkley gives it right back, as his pass to Rhett Ellison said over Ellison’s head before he started looking for the ball which landed right in the hands of safety Kyle Theret. With only 36 seconds left, Minnesota kneeled to try to bring it to halftime, but Kiffin called a timeout (half of the USC team was in the tunnel going to the locker room) and the Trojans forced a 3-and-out after calling 2 more timeouts. But Minnesota’s punt went out-of-bounds and with 4 seconds left, Barkley took a knee to finally bring it to halftime.

1:30 2nd quarter (USC 13-7)- Trojans were forced to punt from inside their own 30, but the punt hit a UM player and USC recovered on the Minnesota 38 yard line. The play was reviewed and the call stood (although from up here it looked like it did not hit him). However, on the subsequent play Barkley was sacked for 13-yards and USC punted again. The offense is looking okay and now it’s up to the defense, which is playing well, to stop the Golden Gophers before the half.

7:21 2nd quarter (USC 13-7)- Hey guys. Sorry for the late post. I’m having some internet troubles up here. Here’s what’s happened so far: Minnesota scored first on a methodical scoring drive, then USC scored the next 2 touchdowns. The first one was a Marc Tyler 3-yard run then Barkley threw it to Ronald Johnson for 53-yards for the second score. USC elected to go for 2 which failed. Thus far the Trojans defensive front seven looks really solid as the Golden Gophers can’t get much going on the ground. Armstead and Perry are playing after being limited all week. For the USC offense, Bradford is getting the most carries, rushing 3 times for 22 yards, but Kiffin is throwing everybody in there, as the Trojans used Baxter, Tyler and Bradford on 3 consecutive plays.