Twice Bitten: Huskies boot Trojans again
Washington spent the majority of the past decade barking without bite, and began the current season bearing a semblance of those futile teams of old. But for the second time in thirteen months, regardless of record or appearance, the Huskies have sunk their teeth into a ranked Trojans team.
For USC, it was a case of déjà vu, as fans watched Erik Folk’s kick split the uprights with no ticks remaining on the clock. It was a 32-31 defeat, giving Washington back-to-back victories over the most recognized program in the Pac 10.
The ending was almost predictable, after watching the first quarter of play. The Trojans really had no answer for Jake Locker and Sarkisian’s offense, and the Huskies continued their struggles to defend the run. This wasn’t going to be a game of who scored first, but who had the ball last.
Locker contributed 420 of Washington’s 536 yards of offense. The senior threw for 310 yards, completing 24 of 40 attempts, and added another 110 yards rushing. It was easily his best performance this season, and the numbers could have been even more impressive, if not for the failed hands of receivers in key moments of the game.
Allen Bradford didn’t receive the start at tailback for USC, but upon entering the game, he imposed his will to the tune of 223 yards on 21 carries. He also scored twice, and both came with little effort. Bradford carried the ball on 5 of 6 snaps on the Trojan’s final possession, moving the chains from the USC 40 to the Washington 23, but it was a drive that ended with a failed Joe Houston field goal attempt, which allowed the Huskies to breathe more life.
With 2:34 seconds remaining on the clock, and Washington only needing a field goal to win their first road game since 2007, Locker used 9 plays to set Folk at the USC 15 yard line for a 32 yard game-winning kick.
The Trojan quest for 13 victories in 13 games is over, and here’s hoping the motivation to play out the season wasn’t lost with it.