…the Trojans perform in a fashion that rivals how they performed against Utah. The Huskies will be playing at “home” in a very loud CenturyLink Field. The Trojans are 2-1 on the road this season and struggled mightily to get those 2 wins.
The Huskies come into this match-up in very similar standing that the Utes entered their game against the Trojans. They have a horrible offense (11th in conf.) and they play sound defense (4th in conf.) Despite the Utes’ troubles on offense they were able to present problems for the Trojans’ defense for most of the game.
Utah was able to attack the Trojans with a steady diet of runs, with quick passes, and by going at the corner opposite of Nickell Robey – which is primarily Torin Harris. U-Dub will be looking to implement a similar game plan against the Trojans.
Despite have the 11th ranked offense in the conference, the Huskies are 3rd in the conference in time of possession. Their ability to dominate TOP puts the pressure on the Trojans to either control the clock themselves or to score every time they have the ball.
It is surprising that the Huskies are so great at controlling the clock. They are last in the conference in passing, 8th in rushing, and 7th in offensive plays per game. Not exactly a recipe for offensive success or clock management. Their goal is to have a slow tempo offense to keep the other team’s offense off of the field and keep the game close.
Defensively if the Huskies have been watching game film, they will run a 2-man coverage. They will aggressively bump Robert Woods and Marqise Lee at the line of scrimmage; this will disrupt the timing of the passing play. They can then sit the safeties over the top of each receiver, making it difficult for Matt Barkley to get the ball to them.
This defense will dare Barkley and Lane Kiffin to get the ball to someone else, which they haven’t done for the better part of the year. This has been a severe weak spot for the Trojans’ offense this through the first 5 games.
The Trojans can’t afford to take this team lightly. This is a team that can sneak up and bite you if you let them, just ask Stanford. If the Trojans let the Huskies hang around like they did the Utes, this could make for an extremely challenging night.
Tune in to watch the Trojans take on the Huskies from Seattle on your local Fox affiliate at 4p PT.