university of washington blog

USC Trojans vs. Washington Huskies: What went wrong for UW?

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The Washington Huskies hosted the USC Trojans on Saturday night to continue Pac-12 conference play. The Huskies were coming off of a painful loss in Eugene, while the Trojans were probably still riding the high of coming from behind to beat Utah in their last contest. This is the last time these two face off in the next 2 seasons because of the expansion of the conference.

Am I the only one who had a painful nightmares from much of last season while watching this game?

Let’s break it down, shall we?

Keith IS Human!

We saw a little bit of the old Keith Price in this game, much like the one we saw last year. But those moments came in flashes and the other moments were almost cringe-worthy. Sure, he had 2 touchdowns (and boy were they sexy), but he also had 2 interceptions and 2 fumbles.

The fumbles absolutely killed the Huskies as both of Price’s giveaways effectively killed all positive momentum the Dawgs had built up. With each turnover credited to Price (4), the team lost any advantage they had, including field position.

You call that protection?

Look….I know the Huskies were facing a top 10 team, a contender for the national title, and a Heisman candidate against USC, but the line was absolutely useless for much of the game. I will give minor props for the blocking they DID do, because it allowed Price to hit Austin Seferian-Jenkins and Kasen Williams for touchdowns.

Keith Price, Washington Huskies

Keith Price had little protection to allow him to be effective when it was needed. (Photo: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE)

The rest of the game, though, Price was under constant fire from the defense. Price was sacked 5 times in the game and hit and knocked down several times as well. This cannot happen if this young Husky team wants to succeed.

Hey, at least they’re getting valuable experience for their junior and senior years, right?

Convert, convert, convert!

When the Huskies get into 3rd down situations, they forget how to play football. It seems that way at least, doesn’t it? Sure, the Huskies completed one more 3rd down than the Trojans in this game, but they still only converted 3 of 12.

And they failed their only 4th down situation of the game, too.

It’s bad enough that the drives are stalling in the first place, but is it really that hard to find a couple quick, fool-proof plays to use to convert?

Not enough Sankey…

I know we’re still in the feeling out process with Bishop Sankey, but any running back who can run for 100+ yards in games against Stanford and Oregon should get more chances to continue that success.

The Huskies were down by 17 at one point, I get it, but they were in the game all the way until mid-4th quarter.

The Huskies should look at how they used Chris Polk last year and modify it to Sankey’s strengths. Obviously the biggest benefit is adding him to the pass attack, but if the guy is rushing for 100+ yards and is helping open the playbook a little, you should probably ride him through thick and thin.

Imagine this…

Sankey rushed for 54 yards on 14 attempts. That’s 3.9 yards per carry. If he rushes the ball 3 times in a row, it averages to a first down.

Why get away from and divert the game plan away from that?

The Huskies were definite underdogs in this game, but that doesn’t take away from the hope that the coaching staff, players, and fan base have after watching their team beat a team like Stanford. We could only wish they would do this each week, but for the time being, it seems out of reach.

The Huskies play Arizona next week. Let’s hope I get to give out game balls next week.

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About Brandon Choate

Guest reporter on "Real Rob Report." Raised on Eastside of Seattle, a super fan of every sports team in Seattle. Bleeds Blue, Green, Teal, Purple and Gold. Likes video games, food, and poor attempts at comedy. Connect with Brandon today!
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