Friday, November 11, 2011
Huskies look to win three in a row against Trojans
The Washington Huskies(6-3,4-2) look to avoid their first two game losing streak of the season as they take on the #18 USC Trojans(7-2,4-2). The Huskies under former Trojans offensive coordinator Steve Sarkisian have upset the Trojans the last two seasons. Once again the Huskies are double digit underdogs as they take on their new rivals from the south. The Huskies are looking to defeat the Trojans three years in a row for the first time since 1990-1992 and are looking to win down in L.A. back to back years since 1937. This game will also feature two quarterbacks who have played against each other since high school. This will be a big game for both programs as Lane Kiffin will try to defeat his good friend Sarkisian.
The Trojans offense is led by future top 10 pick quarterback Matt Barkley. Barkley is having a breakout season as a true junior this year. Barkley has completed 67.0% of his passes for 2,608 yards(7.6 YPA) with 28 touchdowns to just six interceptions. Earlier this week the man who recruited Barkley to USC and current Huskies head coach Sarkisian stated if he were an NFL GM he would take Barkley over Andrew Luck. Sarkisian the last two years has played mind games on the Trojans on pulling off upsets and I expect this is no different. Barkley has two stud receivers led by Robert Woods who already has 90 receptions for 1,121 yards with 11 touchdowns. The other receiver is Marqise Lee who has 43 receptions for 658 yards with seven touchdowns. The Trojans offense is led by two rushers first of all Curtis McNeal who has rushed for 639 yards(6.7 YPC) with four touchdowns. The other rusher is Marc Tyler who has rushed for 438 yards(4.5 YPC) with two touchdowns. The Trojans offense on the year is averaging 33.4 points per game while allowing 25.7 points per game. The Huskies have defeated them the last two years 16-13 then last season 32-31 both time on Erik Folk game winning field goals. The Trojans this year will try to defeat Sarkisian and Nick Holt for the first time as they are 0-2 against them.
The Huskies offense is hoping to rebound from last weeks poor showing against the Oregon Ducks. The Huskies offense and defense has been huge in victories over the Trojans the last two years. The Huskies offense goes where Chris Polk carries them as he has ran for 1,096 yards(5.3 YPC) with nine touchdowns on the year. He has also caught 24 passes for 280 yards(11.7 YPC) with three touchdowns. The Huskies are hoping Polk can rebound from last week where he ran for just 80 yards on a 3.3 YPC average. The passing game has been slowed down lately as well but Keith Price is returning home. Last season Price threw his first career touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to give the Huskies the lead. On the year Price has thrown for 2,133 yards with 25 touchdowns to 10 interceptions. His top receivers are seniors Devin Aguilar who has 30 receptions for 461 yards and three touchdowns. While Jermaine Kearse has 34 receptions for 419 yards with six touchdowns. An emerging star has been Kasen Williams who has 20 receptions for 236 yards with three touchdowns on the season. In the last two weeks though Williams has caught eight passes for 159 yards with a touchdown. The Huskies offense is averaging 33.6 points per game while allowing 33.4 points per game.
In conclusion, the Huskies will probably need another Erik Folk miracle to win this game. This game should be a close game as both teams run the same exact offense. This is a fun rivalry as Sarkisian was always above Kiffin in the coaching tree at USC. Kiffin only got the Raiders job due to Sarkisian rejecting it. Now these two will be squaring off for round two in what should be a great rivarly for years to come. Sarkisian, Kiffin and Chip Kelly are going to be the future of this conference whether fans like it or not. This will be another outstanding game which should feature plenty of offensive firepower. Hopefully Sarkisian can out coach Kiffin like he did last year and upset the Trojans for the third straight season.