Saturday, October 13, 2012
Instant analysis: USC 24, Washington 14
By Ted Miller
Here's our quick reaction to USC's 24-14 win over Washington.
It was over when: USC defensive back Josh Shaw grabbed a tipped interception near midfield from Huskies QB Keith Price on fourth-and-8 with 4:20 left in the fourth quarter and the Trojans up 10. The Huskies dominated the second half, but their first-half deficit was just too much.
Gameball goes to: The USC defense. The Trojans were supposed to be all about the offense -- QB Matt Barkley and his scintillating corps of receivers. That hasn't proven true, but the defense has been better than expected. It forced four Washington turnovers, and that proved the difference in the game. It held the Huskies to 299 yards.
Stat of the game: Barkley was 10-of-20 for 167 yards with a touchdown. If you had told me during the preseason that would be his stat line for any game, I would have laughed at the delusion.
Unsung hero of the game: While the Trojans passing game was struggling, Penn State transfer Silas Redd rushed for 155 yards on 26 carries. Of course, much of that came on a 57-yard run on USC's first possession, which only led to a field goal.
What USC learned: It learned that the Trojans' passing game is oddly mediocre and it doesn't seem to be getting better. I have no idea why it's not better.
What Washington learned: It learned that it weathered a brutal first-half schedule with a 3-3 mark. That's not too bad, as it went 1-3 in games in which it was a significant underdog. Bowl hopes are firmly alive.
What it means: It means USC inches forward. It won't move up much in the national rankings with this performance, but it won't move down. With dates against Oregon and Notre Dame ahead, the Trojans still have a chance to get into the national title picture if it becomes a beauty contest with one-loss teams.