- Greg Katz, Columnist, WeAreSC.com
SEATTLE -- Notes, quotes, and anecdotes from CenturyLink Field after the Trojans' (5-1 overall, 3-1 Pac-12) 24-14 victory over Washington (3-3, 1-2) on Saturday.
USC coach Lane Kiffin comments:
On the game: “ I think any time you go on the road and you come into what it seemed like a sold-out environment like this, it’s a hard place to play. Obviously the Seahawks have success over here, Washington has been undefeated here. I think they have won eight or nine games in general at home because they have great fans, so it was good.”
On his team’s performance: “Was it perfect? No. We thought our guys came out and played a really good first half obviously, and the story of the day would be the defense, number one, and then the special teams, and then the run game. Those are three things that if you’re going to win on the road you need to pack.”
On the defense: “Phenomenal job by our defense, especially in the fourth quarter. If you’ve been covering us over the last three years, that’s been our issue, fourth quarter defense.”
On if Matt Barkley was hurt in the first half after a sack or if he was just playing conservative: “No, he’s fine. That was simply just playing to win. I wanted to sit here in this press conference at 5-1 not 4-2 and we did that, so in those situations why go back and get him hit (Barkley) again.”
UW coach Steve Sarkisian comments:
On the loss: “Frustrating loss to say the least. That’s two consecutive weeks that we took the field and we didn’t respond good in the first half of the game. When you’ve got good teams and you go in the locker room down it’s hard and it makes it hard to win. We couldn’t catch a break.”
Key to victory: USC had a 24-14 lead in the final quarter when Trojans strong safety Jawanza Starling caused a Keith Price fumble at the USC 4-yard line and recovered the ball, thwarting a Washington scoring drive with 11:03 remaining.
Starring Starling: On the big hit and fumble recovery on UW quarterback Keith Price, Starling said, “I wanted him to have ball. I started to get down on him, saw him expose the ball, and knocked it loose. There was a scramble, and it was anybody’s ball.”
Sack exchange: The Trojans recorded five sacks against the Huskies.
Marked man: On getting to Barkley, Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton said, “We knew he (Barkley) was an immobile quarterback. We tried to have Matt roll out and to change his read, have the linebacker come in and get to him.”
It’s offensive: Prior to the Washington game, the Trojans were averaging 424 yards per game on offense. Against UW, the Trojans gained 371 yards.
Offensive woes: Shutout in the second half, Barkley said the Trojans offense needs to improve on “everything.” “If we play undisciplined ball, we won’t have any blowouts.”
The offensive scoring average: The Trojans scored 24 points against Washington. Prior to Saturday, the Trojans were averaging 34.0 points per game.
Mr. Touchdown: Junior Silas Redd, who had an 11-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, is still the only Trojan to have a rushing touchdown.
Passing fancy: Prior to the Washington game, the Trojans were averaging 266.0 passing yards per game. Against UW, the Trojans passed for 167 yards.
Block party: On his 21-yard blocked punt in the second quarter that went for a touchdown, Anthony Brown said, “It was awesome. I had the opportunity because we had a base call, and one of us would get free. It was me. To score a college touchdown, there’s nothing like it.”
The defensive scoring average: The Trojans defense allowed 14 points to Washington. Prior to the UW game, the Trojans were allowing 19.4 points per game.
The thief: Bailey’s first-quarter interception was his fourth of the season.
The turnstiles: Saturday’s attendance was 67,202, which is the largest gathering in the six games the Huskies have played at CenturyLink Field.
Getting defensive: Prior to the Washington game, the Trojans were allowing an average of 338.0 yards per game defensively. Against UW, the Men of Troy allowed 299 yards.
The flag is up: Prior to the Washington game, the Trojans were averaging 80 penalty yards per game. Against UW, the Trojans were penalized 10 times for 70 yards.
The record: Heidari’s 23-yard field goal in the first quarter meant that the Trojans have not shut out for 187 consecutive games, a school record.
Rush to judgment: Prior to the Washington game, the Trojans were averaging 158 yards per game on the ground. Against UW, the Trojans ran for 204 yards.
Redd hot: On his 57-yard run early in the game, Redd said, “It was designed to the left, but it was kind of plugged up. I saw an opening to the right and I took it.”
Rush to defend: Prior to the Washington game, the Trojans were allowing 112.6 yards rushing per game. Against UW, the Trojans allowed 101 rushing yards.
The draft: NFL scouts from the Steelers, Patriots, Buccaneers, Titans, Chargers, and Saints were in attendance.
Up next: The Trojans finally return to the Coliseum next Saturday, hosting Colorado at 3 p.m. PT.