university of washington blog

Week 7 College football preview: USC vs. Washington matchup

Things are not as they appear

What a last 2 weeks for Husky football. Still reeling from the loss at Oregon last week, the Washington Huskies are back home and in primetime again this week and looking for some magic to down USC like they did Stanford 2 weeks ago.

USC at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Saturday, October 13, 2012
Where: CenturyLink Field, Seattle, Washington
TV: 7 p.m. ET, FOX
Team Records: USC (4-1), Washington (3-2)
Standings: USC 2nd Pac-12 South, Washington 4th Pac-12 north

The Dawgs are in their last game of the gauntlet that was the beginning of their Pac-12 schedule. With Oregon State ranked so high, things won’t get easier down the road.

Game Notes

With that being said, Washington is now coming face to face with the powerhouse Trojans. While many think that USC is a titan of a college football team, their performances this season lead me to believe otherwise. This game is very winnable for the Huskies if they play their cards right. USC has looked nothing but human so far this season and the Dawgs will need to capitalize on that.

Bishop Sankey, Washington Huskies

Bishop Sankey played a big part in the upset over Stanford. Can he help the Huskies do it again versus USC? (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

This is the 4th game this season that the Huskies are facing a top 10 ranked team – USC is ranked #9 currently. As we all know, the Huskies got thrashed in 2 of those 3 games, but won their home game against Stanford.

Can the Huskies continue the magic at home?

What to Watch: USC

USC fell behind early last week against Utah before pulling out a come from behind win. That was the closes they have come to losing this season besides the loss to Stanford earlier this season. This is one of the last road games for the Trojans this season and they will look to capitalize on a Washington team still licking their wounds from their big loss in Eugene.

USC’s defense has been shaky, allowing several big plays despite their winning ways. Matt Barkley has seen more pressure this season than any other season in his USC career and it has gotten to him.

Lane Kiffin will be looking to best his former co-worker in Steve Sarkisian when they were both assistants with the Trojans under Pete Carroll.

What to Watch: Washington

Injuries and rookies seem to be the biggest headlines troubling this team. Several injuries have left this Husky team decimated, with only 1 starting offensive lineman left and the rest being back ups. For that reason, rookies have played a big part of this season so far and will continue to do so against USC.

As mentioned previously, the Huskies are playing their 4th top 10 team this season and are hoping that Sark dials it in again and upsets the Trojans in Seattle. The Huskies need to be competitive in this game in order to keep their mid-level bowl chances alive.

UW Offense vs. USC Defense

The Washington offense has been enigmatic this season. With headliners like Kasen Williams and Austin Seferian-Jenkins in tow, the biggest name arguably has been running back Bishop Sankey.

He has 3 consecutive 100 yard rushing performances against powerhouse schools. If Sankey can continue his big play capability, it may open up even more passing options for Keith Price.

USC’s defense has struggled to defend the long pass as they gave up 2 big touchdowns to Utah last week. Keith Price can and should use that to his advantage and target Williams deep down field whenever possible.

Josh Shirley, Washington Huskies

Josh Shirley will need to hit Matt Barkley a few times in this one and get him rattled in order to force mistakes.

The Trojan defense is allowing 338 yards per game, 225 coming via passes.

UW Defense vs. USC Offense

The Husky defense will no doubt have their hands full in this game. With so many targets on the USC side, the Huskies will be spread thin. The key is going to be getting to Matt Barkley. Barkley hasn’t been hit very much in his Trojan career, but Stanford exposed the weakness. Barkley plays terrible when rattled and the Huskies need to capitalize on that.

USC has a 3 headed monster in Marquise Lee, Robert Woods and Silas Redd. Washington has to look for the pass and the run, both equally dangerous for USC. Shaq Thompson and Desmond Trufant will have to play big parts in this game in order for the Huskies to have a chance.

Hopefully Sean Parker can get some much needed interceptions to help the Huskies swing the momentum.

I want to say this is going to be close, but anything is possible this season.

The Huskies will hang in there for a while, but even home field advantage won’t give the Huskies the much needed push to upset another team.

This isn’t Stanford where you had to only worry about defending the run. This is USC and they just have too many weapons for this banged up Washington team to keep locked down.

USC 42, Washington 27


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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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