SMU's Bryson Dechambeau shot a 5-under 67 on Saturday to top the NCAA leaderboard, and Southern California opened a three-stroke lead in the team standings.
Dechambeau eagled the par-5 third hole and had five birdies and two bogeys to finish two rounds at 7-under 137 at The Concession Golf Club.
"Managing my game has been a big part of this week," Dechambeau said. "I made sure that when I came out here, I knew where I needed to hit it. Instead of focusing on other things, you just have to place it in the right places and I've been able to do that quite nicely throughout these two days."
Illinois' Thomas Detry was two strokes back after a 71.
"I just learned you've got to be patient here, you have to make birdies," Detry said. "You're going to have bogeys, probably doubles and you're going to miss putts, too. You just have to focus on the next shot, stay patient and birdies are going to come."
Southern California shot a 3-under 285 to get to 2-under 574. First-round leader Illinois was second at 1 over, followed by Georgia and LSU at 5 over, and South Florida and Vanderbilt at 9 over.
The 24 schools and 12 individuals will complete 54 holes of stroke play, with the top 15 schools and top nine individuals not on an advancing team playing an additional round of stroke play to determine the top eight schools for match play and the 72-hole individual champion. The top eight schools will then compete in match play for the team championship.