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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 29, 2007 at 5:07 PM

USC game thread

UH OH — Thinking that Russo fumble might be the play that ended this one.
As such, I now have to devote myself to other duties so the blog may not be updated for a little while.
WHAT A STRANGE GAME THIS IS TURNING OUT TO BE: But also a really exciting one as Husky Stadium is rocking like I haven’t heard it in years.
WHAT A STRANGE DRIVE that was there. UW went 22 yards in 10 plays, taking up more than four minutes to finally get a field goal there from Ryan Perkins.
Through three quarters UW had just 54 yards passing, one of the lowest totals I can remember.
USC LEADS 24-14 END OF THIRD QUARTER — USC has a 425-164 edge in the stats but just a 10-point lead on the scoreboard. Unfortunately for UW, it might have blown a great opportunity there with D’Andre Goodwin dropping that pitch from Louis Rankin and losing nine yards on first down.
By the way, so much for all that talk that UW would use more RBs this week. Rankin has gone all the way at tailback.
TROJANS KEEPING UW IN IT — Goofy play call there by USC on third-and-two, it seemed like, and now the Huskies have the ball back in good field position after anothter penalty by USC. USC now has 11 penalties.
MORE SECOND-HALF BLUES? — USC has just scored to take a 24-14 lead and it’s worth wondering if this will be another second-half fold for the Huskies. USC now has a 110-7 yard edge in the third quarter, and frankly probably would have scored twice if not for penalties.
ANOTHER BIG POSSESSION — UW went three and out on that first drive of the third quarter and now has to hold USC here. I know I keep harping on rushing numbers but Louis Rankin had 14 yards on six carries in the first half. He now has 20 on seven after that six-yard gain on first down. UW is staying in the game but that isn’t going to get it done long term.
HUSKIES HANGING IN — The stats say blowout — USC now has a 347-124 edge in yards. But the Huskies are showing a lot of tenacity to keep hanging around and with USC making a ton of mistakes, this is still a ball game there for the taking. UW has to stay mistake free on offense, however. Still feels like just one big play the other way could turn this one for good.
SECOND HALF BEGINS — UW has given up a TD drive to start the second half each of the last two weeks, which then set the stage for the collapse that was to come. That’s the key question right now.
1960 CELEBRATION — It was actually pretty neat how they did that here with the band replicating the halftime performance that the UW band did at the 1961 Rose Bowl (the old performance was played on the video board). And then the team filed out onto the field and the new national champions flag was unfurled. Jim Owens, the coach of that team, was not able to attend the weekend but was surely watching from his home in Walla Walla.
STATS — Here’s a good link to stats from Yahoo.com. The big stat is obviously the three turnovers by USC. Otherwise, the stats pretty much look like what most people would have thought they would. They actually look pretty much like last week’s.
MISSED TACKLES — That was the theme of Willingham’s halftime comments on the radio as he said UW had to stop missing tackles if it is to stay in the game. He also said he’s rotating defensive players up front to keep them fresh and give other guys a chance.
USC REBOUNDS — USC came back quickly to retake the lead. The Trojans now have 268 yards to UW’s 125 including a 159-77 edge on the ground.
BIG TURNAROUND — UW has now gotten three turnovers, the kind of thing it had to getk to pull off the upset, after Mesphin Forrester’s interception return for a touchdown. That’s the third career pick for Forrester and that was huge as a USC score there felt like it might put UW in a really big hole.
DAVENPORT IN — Byron Davenport has replaced Matt Mosley at cornerback after Mosley was beaten for a TD earlier.
HAVING THEIR WAY — Suddenly the Trojans seem to be exerting control. That was 88 yards in seven plays in just three minutes, keyed by that 45-yard run by Staffon Johnson. USC now has 102 rushing yards.
UW ROTATING UP FRONT — The Huskies are using more players on the defensive front today with Erick Lobos seeing significant time on that last drive and now Cameron Elisara.
GARCIA BACK IN — Garcia was back in on that last series for UW but as I write this, Nate Williams is down after that punt. Been a brutal game for injuries so far for both sides.
TOO EASY — Well, that lead didn’t last long. Booty looks like he woke up there and the Trojans seem determined now to test UW’s secondary, which is now playing two players who began the season as backups in Mosley and Harris.
GARCIA UPDATE — He hurt his left ankle and is expected to return.
HUSKIES LEAD 7-0 — The Huskies finally took advantage of a USC gift, taking a 7-0 on a 10-yard run by Jake Locker. Juan Garcia was hurt the play before so Matt Sedillo handled the center snap on that play, his first career play.
WELLS QUESTIONABLE TO RETURN — Jason Wells suffered an injury to his right knee and is questionable to return. He was replaced in the lineup by Darrin Harris.
USC LOSING GUYS — USC has lost center Kristofer O’Dowd and guard Chilo Rachal to injuries and LB Keith Rivers is out right now, as well.
0-0 AT END OF FIRST QUARTER — The game is tied at the end of one, and frankly UW has been the better team so far, outgaining USC 73-52 and 25-20 on the ground. UW also has six first downs to three for USC. But the Huskies have to take advantage of this field position.
USC LOOKS SHAKY — That’s six penalites for USC here in the first quarter and the Trojans look a little out of sorts early.
HUSKIES COMING OUT FIRING — Interseting to see UW throwing it so much here in the early going. Seems as if that’s how the Huskies want to attack USC today.
MOSLEY STARTS AT CB — Matt Mosley got the start at the CB spot opposite Roy Lewis. Otherwise, the defense looks as expected, with Donald Butler going in the middle.
RANKIN DOES RETURNS — An interesting personnel note that Louis Rankin took the opening kickoff for UW.
WEATHER — The official weather is 55 degrees, light rain and 4 MPH winds out of the southeast at kickoff.
We’re five minutes away from kickoff and Lou Gellermann just said “Hello, Dawg fans” for the final time.
So that’s our cue to start up the running game thread for today’s contest. I’ll check in with notes and observations here throughout the game, with the most recent at the top.
Today’s game captains for UW are Juan Garcia, Anthony Russo, Dan Howell and Jordan Reffett.
Doesn’t appear to be raining — hard for me to tell sometimes up in the press box — but it is blowing a little bit.

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