6-Points: USC 24, Washington 14

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USC moved to 5-1 by grinding out the Huskies at CenturyLink Field.

Click here for the final stats and game recap.

Click here for Lane Kiffin's entire post-game press conference.

The Game Plan

Brown-UW-McG.jpgLane Kiffin is not afraid to win ugly.  The head coach has a tried and true formula that works for every road game.  "The story of the day would be the defense number one, and then the special teams and then the run game.  Those are the three things if you are going to win on the road that you need to pack," Kiffin said.  Despite Matt Barkley (10/20 for 167 yards and 1 TD/1 INT) and the passing game not putting up big numbers, Kiffin is happy with the final score.  "We are here to win games.  We are not here for stats.  We are 5-1.  It's good enough for us."

All Grown Up

The 2010 defense took its lumps, but several key players on the 2012 squad learned valuable lessons that year.  Now, the veteran group is making opponents pay.  "It's just a more experienced defense than a couple of years ago," said senior S Jawanza Starling.  "We've been in the system for a while.  A lot of guys know what they're supposed to do and are just having fun and playing football."  The USC defense has forced multiple turnovers in every game this season, including four takeaways tonight.

Saved by Starling

The play of the night came courtesy of Jawanza Starling, who forced and then recovered a fumble inside the 5-yard line when Washington was about to make it a one possession game.  "It was a spark plug for this game," said Starling.  "It changed the whole momentum."  While Starling's starting spot has often been in jeopardy over the years, he has answered the challenge, including signature plays against Notre Dame and Oregon in 2011 and now Washington in 2012.

Absolute Beast

Anthony Brown gave himself an audacious nickname, but he lived up to it tonight.  The reserve defensive back not only blocked a punt, but scooped up the loose ball and took it in for six.  The second quarter touchdown was USC's last score of the night.  Brown is not normally in that spot on punt block team, but he earned Kiffin's praise in the post-game locker room as a player who was ready when called upon.

Sensational Silas

Redd-UW1-McG.jpgSilas Redd took the first offensive play 57 yards which teed up a big night on the ground.  The junior running back carried it 26 times for 155 yards and a TD.  "We felt pretty good," Redd said about the run game.  "That first half, the offensive line, they were lights out."  The Trojans cracked the 200-yard rushing barrier for the third time this season.

Midseason Report Card

USC sits at 5-1 at the midway point of the regular season.  The defense has been remarkably consistent, but the offense has lacked explosiveness recently and been hamstrung by penalties (10 more tonight).  "We have got a lot of areas to improve," said Starling.  "We've got to fix our penalties and play more disciplined.  The effort has been there...but just play smarter on the field."  In fairness, USC has played four road games already (by comparison Oregon has traveled once), but the Trojans finish with five of six games in Los Angeles.

Two-point conversion...  

Robey's Island

Nickell Robey gave up a touchdown pass to Kasen Williams in the first quarter.  At halftime, he vowed to Lane Kiffin that Williams, who is the Huskies leading receiver, would not catch another ball.  Williams did not have a second half reception.

Third Option

With defenses keying on Robert Woods and Marqise Lee, the passing game needs to diversify.  Enter Xavier Grimble.  The tight end made two huge plays, an 18-yard TD grab and a 24-yard catch and run, starting in place of the injured Randall Telfer.

Here is Grimble after the game...

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