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Husky Football Blog

The latest news and analysis on the Montlake Dawgs.

September 25, 2010 at 3:35 PM

USC crushes WSU, now sets sights on Huskies

It was briefly interesting in Pullman as the Cougars exploited USC’s young secondary to score on its first possession, and again later in the first half.
But otherwise, it was total domination by USC as the Trojans blasted WSU 50-16 in Pullman today and now can start thinking about hosting the Huskies next Saturday at 5 p.m. in the LA Memorial Coliseum.
USC, despite looking a little shaky at times this year, is now 4-0, and believe it or not hasn’t been 5-0 since 2006.
The obvious storyline going into the UW-USC game will center the Trojans seeking revenge for Washington’s 16-13 win in Seattle last season.
The other will be the fact that the game will be the first meeting as head coaches for Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin, who served together as assistants for five seasons at USC before moving on.
That familiarity means there won’t be a lot of secrets this week. Sarkisian alluded to that on Monday when he said that UW and USC run pretty similar offenses and defenses and barely even need to do the usual scout team work against each other.
“Obviously, they are very similar to us schematically,” Sarkisian said. “There isn’t a lot of service team card work (meaning the service team looking at a card to run the plays of an opponent in practice). We can almost make calls in what they do in both phases.”
Watching USC today, it seems like Washington’s game against the Trojans will be decided in two areas — if UW can at least contain USC’s running game, and if the Huskies can get their passing game going.
USC has really struggled in pass defense, entering today’s game allowing an average of 291 yards through the air. WSU also had some success going 26-41 for 254 yards, though the Trojans did pick off three passes. Judging by how open WSU receivers got at times today, UW should have opportunities to make plays through the air — the key will be converting a high percentage of them.
USC, however, is proving to be a pretty dominant running team so far. The Trojans came into the game averaging 5.6. yards per carry, and had 283 yards rushing and averaged 7.3 yards per attempt against the Cougars. WSU’s defense obviously isn’t very good, but for what it’s worth, the Cougars and Huskies entered the day each tied for last in the Pac-10 in allowing an average of 5.4 yards per rush. So the Huskies will have a challenge in that area next week.
You can review the USC-WSU game and get further updates here. It didn’t appear that USC suffered any significant injuries.
And how about UCLA striking a blow for Pac-10 pride today? The Bruins are leading Texas 27-6 as I type this. That not only bolsters the conference’s national perception but also serves notice that the Bruins are improving — and means that Thursday night visit in November just got that much tougher.

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