College Football Week 7: #11 USC At Washington
- CoachingSalt Lake City was fired up for the Trojans, but USC shook off a rusty start to handle the Utes. Even with Oregon still on the schedule, Lane Kiffin’s Trojans are the favorite to represent the South in the Pac-12 title game.The Huskies never recovered from a terrible first quarter against Oregon, but they’ll have to find a way to get back up for a huge home game against USC, where Washington coach Steve Sarkisian was an assistant for seven years. He is 2-1 against his former school.
- OffenseNow there’s the Matt Barkley we know. Last Thursday, Barkley was 23 for 30 with three touchdowns, and several of his incompletions were drops, including a few that would have been big gains. USC is getting enough on the ground to keep defenses honest.The Huskies have played five games—enough to get a sense of where they stand—and are 109th in total offense. Quarterback Keith Price struggled but the good news is that Bishop Sankey recorded his third straight 100-yard game on the ground.
- DefenseThe Trojan defense was stellar for the second straight week. Don’t look at the 28 points Utah scored because half of those were a result of USC turnovers. The Utes couldn’t get anything going in the second half.Oregon piles up big numbers against everybody. This Washington defense is above average and may fare better than expected against a pass-first USC team.
- Special TeamsUSC has been solid across the board in its special teams, but Adam Heidari did miss field goals from 40 and 43 yards last week.The Huskies have only attempted four field goals this season but have made three. Washington fumbled a punt last week and lost possession.
This game should be closer than the categorical sweep would indicate, though the Huskies may have trouble scoring enough to pull off the upset. -Andrew Kahn, College Football Contributor