The University of Southern California Trojans welcomed the Washington Huskies over their homecoming weekend, but then delivered a 40-17 stomping at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. With the win the Trojans improved to 8-2 overall and 5-2 in the Pac-12. Meanwhile, the Huskies dropped to 6-4 overall and 5-3 in conference action.
“This has become a big rivalry,” USC head coach Lane Kiffin says. “It’s going to be a very competitive rivalry for a long time.” Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian was an assistant coach at USC.
With 5:40 on the clock during the first period, the Trojans scored first to gain a 7-0 edge over the Huskies. Junior starting quarterback Matt Barkley penetrated the middle of the field with a one-yard run for the touchdown.
Thereafter, at 12:54 of the second quarter, the Huskies scored their only points of the first half on a 46-yard field goal by kicker Erik Folk to make the score 7-3 Trojans. But that was as close as the visitors would get since USC kept scoring and scoring after that.
Freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee knows the history between both universities of late.
“I knew we lost to this team twice in the last two years,” Lee says. “It feels good to break that streak with the W.” Lee finished the match with nine catches for a total of 74 receiving yards and a touchdown.
At 6:58 in the second quarter, running back Marc Tyler rushed to the left flank for a one-yard touchdown that gave the Trojans a 14-3 lead. Less than a minute after, the Trojans got a safety when Huskies quarterback Keith Price was sacked. Barkley reached Lee in the middle of the field for a nine-yard touchdown with 2:44 to go before halftime.
“We’re playing each game like it’s a bowl game," Barkley says.
He finished with 174 passing yards on 18 of 28 completed throws with one touchdown. The Trojans, however, earned a lot of their offensive support with the running game. Freshman Curtis McNeal collected an impressive 148 yards on the ground on 18 carries, including one for a touchdown. Tyler added 50 yards on seven rushes, while Kyle Negrete gained 35 yards.
“I think it’s proof it’s not just us,” Barkley adds. “We knew going in we would be able to run. We were handing the ball off more often than not.”
The past two seasons, the Trojans have suffered defeats to the Huskies. USC came out firing this time around, however, and dominated the affair since the beginning. “I knew they had a chip on their shoulder,” Huskies linebacker Cort Dennison says. “I wasn’t surprised they came out with fire at all.”
“I think our kids really wanted to play well, and they tried hard,” Sarkisian tells the media. “We just didn’t execute. I tip my hat to ’SC. They’re a good team, and they’ve really improved.”
The Huskies scored a touchdown at the beginning of the second half, but the Trojans answered with a 79-yard run from McNeal, which gave USC a 37-10 comfortable advantage. Sophomore standout receiver Robert Woods saw little production in the game.
“You would never think we would be able to get a win with so little production from one of our big guys,” Kiffin says. “It’s a credit to our defense and our special teams and to Marqise. He was arguably the best player on the field.”
USC returns to the field on Saturday, Nov. 19, as they travel to Oregon to face the No. 4 Ducks (9-1, 7-0) at 5 p.m.
“I think they were better when we played them in the past," Barkley says of the Ducks. “I feel the way we’re playing right now we could give them the best matchup.”
The Bruins stumbled in Utah after a 31-6 loss. UCLA (5-5, 4-3) could not manage to produce on the road.
For the game, quarterback Kevin Prince threw for 146 yards but had two interceptions and suffered three sacks. Running back Johnathan Franklin rushed for 89 yards on 17 carries, and was perhaps the most productive Bruin of the night.
“We were right in it at the half and still right there when we had them facing third-and-13. [Sean] Westgate had their running back covered, but the ball was perfect and he made a great catch,” UCLA head coach Rick Neuheisel tells the media.
UCLA faces Colorado on Saturday, Nov. 19, at the Rose Bowl at 4:30 p.m.
Sports: Football [Pigskin Blitz]
Trojans Crush Huskies, Bruins Stumble in Utah
By Marvin Vasquez
Article posted on 11/14/2011
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