No. 11 USC Football Heads To Washington
Oct. 7, 2012
No. 11 USC remains on the road for the fourth time in 5 games as it visits Washington. Troy could set the school record for consecutive games without being shut out; the last time the Trojans were blanked was, ironically, at Washington in 1997 (the Huskies also snapped USC's original record in 1983 in Seattle). The game will be played at nearly-soldout 67,000-seat CenturyLink Field, home of former USC head coach Pete Carroll's Seattle Seahawks, while Husky Stadium is being renovated (it's the second NFL stadium in which Troy has played this year). Although USC has won 8 of the past 10 contests against the Huskies, the series with Washington traditionally features close outcomes. Troy is just 1 game over .500 in Seattle, where rain is always a possibility. The contest features head coaches Lane Kiffin of USC and Steve Sarkisian of Washington, former Trojan offensive assistants who spent 5 years together in Heritage Hall.
The Trojans are led by a number of the nation's top players on both sides of the ball. QB Matt Barkley, who has yet to play a game in Seattle, is 4 TDs shy of the Pac-12 career touchdown pass record. All-American WR Robert Woods is 9 catches away from the USC career receptions mark, while fellow Biletnikoff Award candidate WR Marqise Lee has caught at least 8 passes in each of the past 9 games (he is in the national Top 4 in receptions, receiving yards and all-purpose running). TBs Curtis McNeal and Penn State transfer Silas Redd have carried the ground load.
The Trojan defense features All-American S T.J. McDonald, fellow Thorpe Award nominee CB Nickell Robey (he has a school record-tying 3 scoring interception returns in his career), LBs Dion Bailey and Hayes Pullard and sack-happy DE Morgan Breslin.
After defeating Trojan-beater Stanford 2 weeks ago, the Huskies fell at No. 2 Oregon last weekend (their other loss was at No. 3 LSU). For Washington, the offense is directed by the most accurate passer in school history, QB Keith Price. A group of sophomore skill players touch the ball often: TB Bishop Sankey, WR Kasen Williams and TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins (also a star basketballer). The Huskies, who are in the national Top 25 in pass defense, rely on the defensive play of LBs Thomas Tutogi and John Timu and Ss Sean Parker and Shaq Thompson, among other defenders.
The game will be aired live nationally on FOX.