Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Huskies must avoid letdown after a big USC win
The Washington Huskies host the Arizona State Sun Devils this Saturday at 7 p.m. on FSN. The Huskies are coming off another emotional comeback win over the USC Trojans down in L.A. this year 32-31. The Huskies if they are to contend for a bowl game must win this game at home and avoid the dreaded let down. In years past after a big win over USC the Huskies have laid an egg the following week. I'm not talking about last year either it has happened in years past. In fact the previous three Washington wins over USC the very next week the Huskies have lost. I'll break down some of the big USC wins and the following weeks result. Starting with the most recent going backwards.
2009: #3 USC 13 at Washington 16, #24 Washington 14 at Stanford 34
The Washington Huskies were coming off an 0-12 season and had the nations longest losing streak at 15 before finally defeating Idaho.
When #3 USC came to town the Trojans were favored by 19 points over the Huskies. After USC took an early 10-0 lead the Huskies immediately responded with a touchdown to make the game 10-7. After going into the half tied at 10 it was anybodies game. On the final drive tied at 13-13 Jake Locker like he did this past Saturday hit some key passes mainly to Jermaine Kearse to set up Erik Folks game winning field goal. The crowd which rarely if ever rushed the field it was huge excitement. From 0-12 to beating the third ranked team in the nation. The Huskies were rewarded with their first ranking in the AP poll since 2003 as they were ranked 24th.
The following week going into a dead Stanford Stadium which had less than 37,000 people in it the Huskies came out flat. On the opening kickoff Chris Owusu returned a touchdown for 91 yards. That was just the start of things going bad for UW who had came within a 17-14 but ultimately would lose 34-14. Jake Locker was off this game going 16 of 31 for 191 yards with a touchdown and two picks. At the end of the day Toby Gerhart was to much rushing for 200 yards and a touchdown. The Huskies would drop this game and finish the year 5-7.
2001: USC 24 at #11 Washington Huskies 27, #10 Washington 13 at #7 UCLA 35
Washington came into the game as the defending Rose Bowl champions and undefeated on the season. USC was coming into the game in a transition under first year coach Pete Carroll. Starting Washington quarterback Cody Pickett was knocked out of the game so his backup junior college transfer Taylor Barton took over. He had a terrific day, throwing for 197 yards, completing 11 out of 20 passes, with no interceptions. With the scored tied at 24, he engineered the final drive, which took the Huskies to Trojan 15, where John Anderson kicked a 32-yard field goal to win the game with only 3 seconds remaining on the clock. The Huskies once again had another great 4th quarter win over the Trojans.
The following week with Pickett hurt Barton had his first career and only start as a Husky. He got sacked several times but he would throw for 340 yards with one touchdown and one pick on 23 for 44 passing. The Huskies couldn't run the ball at all rushing for negative eight yards on 29 rushing attempts. DeShaun Foster ran for 301 yards and four rushing touchdowns on the day ending the Huskies 12 game winning streak.
1997: USC 0 at #7 Washington 27, Oregon 31 at #6 Washington 28
Washington came into this season rank as high as #2 in the country and were heavy favorites taking on 4-3 USC Trojans. The Huskies dominated the Trojans. The Huskies led by Jerome Pathon who caught eight passes for 120 yards and one touchdown, Brock Huard threw for 194 yards and the two touchdowns on 13-of-19 passing. Huard left the game in the third quarter.
The season changed for the worse when first team all pac-10 running back Rashaan Shehee left the game in the second quarter with sprained ligaments in his left knee. Shehee would miss the final three games of the regular season. The Trojans were held to just 157 net yards of offense. The Huskies were riding pretty high after shutting out the Trojans and still controlled their destiny for the Rose Bowl.
The Huskies came into the Oregon game as heavy favorites. The Huskies came into the game injured starting true freshman Marques Tuiasosopo in place of Brock Huard and Maurice Shaw filled in for Rashaan Shehee. The Huskies had won 5 games in a row while Oregon had lost 4 in a row .The Huskies were still favored by 24 points but found themselves trailing 24-6 at halftime. Then Tuiasosopo hit Ja'Warren Hooker for a 41 yard touchdown pass to complete the comeback and give the Huskies a 28-24 lead. The only problem is Oregon had the ball.
Oregon drove down the field behind future #3 pick overall Akili Smith. Smith facing a 3rd and 20 found Pat Johnson for the game winning 29 yard touchdown pass. The Ducks took the lead and won the game 31-28. This would mark the third time in a four span that Lambright would lose to his rival the Ducks. The Huskies would go on to lose their final two games of the year and their rose bowl hopes were dashed.
1990: #5 USC 0 at #21 Washington 31, #12 Washington 14 at #20 Colorado 20
Going into the 1990 season USC had went to the Rose Bowl three consecutive years and the Huskies going into this game were looking a bit sloppy in wins over lowly San Jose State and Purdue. This game was different as Washington dominated the Trojans. UW led by Greg Lewis who ran for 126 yards a touchdown and was named Pac-10 player of the week. The Huskies shut out the mighty Trojans 31-0. Todd Marinovich was 7 for 16 passing for 80 yards and offered the most famous Husky Stadium quote an opponent has ever stated. When asked about the game his response was "I just saw purple, that's all, no numbers. Just purple."
Many remember that game as the start of a dynasty run by the Huskies. Many forget they lost the very next week. The Huskies in their defense lost to the 1990 national champions. The Huskies down 20-14 drove down the field to the Colorado 7 yard line with a 1:33 left in the ball game. Electing to pass all four plays with sophomore quarterback Mark Brunell instead of pounding the ball to eventual Doak Walker winner Greg Lewis who was a senior UW failed the score. The first three passes were incomplete and on the fourth pass Brunnell was picked off on a pass intended for Mario Bailey. Had the Huskies won that game they could have eventually won the national championship in 1990.
1985: USC 17 at Washington 20, Washington State 21 at Washington 20
The Huskies had one of the biggest comeback drives in the Don James era this game. Led by sophomore and future super bowl quarterback Chris Chandler. The Huskies found themselves down 17-13 with four minutes to go in the game. The Trojans had the ball on the Washington one yard line but Ryan Knight fumbled the ball as a touchdown would have put the game away. Instead the Huskies received new life but had to go 98 yards for the win. The Huskies converted some key fourth downs and the drive ended with Chandler hitting Mo Hill for a 13 yard game winning touchdown pass. The Huskies had pulled off a miracle win over the mighty Trojans.
The following week in a rare snow game in Seattle against the Cougars who were used to snow the Dawgs fell behind 21-14. The Cougars were led by all-american running back Rueben Mayes the Cougars were only 3-7 on the year going into that game. The Huskies scored a touchdown and because there was no overtime back then Don James went for the win. The Huskies missed the two point conversation and lost the game 21-20. That was the first time since 1954 that WSU had won three out of four against the Huskies including the last two in Husky Stadium.
As you can see guys the Huskies have historically had problems winning a game after defeating the Trojans. Now this is a different year and whenever the Huskies beat USC in LA they typically win the next week so hopefully the Huskies avoid the let down factor and defeat the Sun Devils for the first time since 2001. The Huskies are also looking to defeat the Sun Devils for the first time at Husky Stadium since 1997(Lost in 1999, lost in 2006 and 2008).