Dog Bite: Washington Stuns No. 3 USC

College football, Pete Carroll, USC
Pete Carroll and his third ranked Trojans took the trip to Seattle fully aware that his team was on upset alert. And after a fairly easy opening drive, there seemed nothing to fear and all talk was for naught.  But it didn’t take long to realize that the hosting Huskies were ready to make true of the alert status, and the Trojans quickly found themselves in the midst of a dog day afternoon.

On a day where the pupil faces the master, Steve Sarkisian and the Washington huskies completed the first major upset of the college football season, by defeating third ranked USC 16-13 on Saturday.  For a program that finished as the only winless FBS team in 2008, it was their first victory over Southern California since 2001.

Aaron Corp filled in for the injured Matt Barkley, and in his first start, he threw for the lowest pass total of any quarterback under Pete Carroll. Corp threw for just 110 yards, completing 13 of 22 without a touchdown and one crucial interception.

Though the fans may be swinginging their hammers at the sophomore quarterback this week, this game was lost as a team, despite the poor production and miscues of their first time starter.  The Trojans made 4 trips to the red zone and came up empty.   The final drive of the first half produced no points, as time became the enemy, and USC failed to leave themselves enough time to set up a field goal attempt. They then fumbled it away twice, with Corp also tossing a pick.

Nick Holt’s defense mirrored that of the Buckeyes in week 2.  The line was stacked against USC tailbacks, but Joe McKnight still managed 100 yards on 11 carries.  Facing a full front is the early defensive theme against the Trojans, and it has allowed the last two opponents to remain in the game, with Washington stealing it.

We have been spoiled here in Southern California.  Over the years, we’ve become accustomed to seeing Trojan victories in any games where the opposition fails to score 20 points.  Such isn’t the case in 2009, and unless there is an end to the conservative play, we’ll see more nail biters and outcomes like today’s.

We can look back at mistakes and think of what could have been, but now isn’t the time for it.  We must regroup, prepare for next week, and fight on.

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~ by Anthony on September 19, 2009.

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