Trojans tame the Huskies, win 40-17


This easily could’ve been a game that the Trojans choked away. This could have been a game were they faltered, falling short of all the expectations laid out before them. It could have been a game where for the third year in a row, Coach Sarkisian and his Huskies got the best of the Trojans.But nothing short of the second coming of Jake Locker was going to derail the mighty men of Troy on this day, nothing at all.The Trojans waltzed in the Coliseum like they owned the place, and for the first time in a long time, they actually did.The first indication that it was going to be a good game for the Trojans was when nature decided to work in their favor and hold off on the rain. Students and fans alike filled the stadium, and quickly got it rockin’. The next indication came when the Trojan defense took the field, and was playing no games with the Husky offense. They forced three consecutive three-and-outs, and generally had their way with the Huskies all day. Keith Price didn’t know what to do, where to look, who to hit, and it showed because the Trojans hit him hard enough to make him reassess his faith in God on four separate occasions.And the final indication—probably the most exciting of them all—was when the USC special teams pulled a fake punt out of nowhere, and it worked to perfection. The stars aligned for an epic performance across multiple fronts.USC was up 7-3 on the Huskies in the middle of the second quarter, and facing fourth-and-nine at their own 45-yard line. USC is not a school known for its trickery, so when the punting unit took the field, we expected Kyle Negrete to get a decent punt off. We did not expect to see him receive the snap, and then hightail it down the field like he was running from LAPD, and gain 35-yards before being forced out on the Trojans sideline. He got the first down and then some, and the USC fans went absolutely ballistic.And from that point on, the Huskies didn’t stand any parts of a chance.

Punter Kyle Negrete taking off for 35 yards on a fake punt. C/O Timothy Lutes

The Trojans scored on the subsequent drive, extending the lead 14-3. I guess after that they forgot it was supposed to be a close game, and they went OFF. Matt Barkley threw for 174 yards and a tub, in a significantly quieter performance than the one he put on against Colorado. But Barkley’s arm wasn’t a necessity, as both running backs put up big numbers. Curtis McNeal actually had a career-high 148-yard day, including a blazing 79-yard run for a touchdown. Marc Tyler came up big for the Trojans too, as he scored USC’s first two touchdowns, and showed that he has found his legs again after a few sub-par games.

When the Trojans came back on the field out of the half, Marquis Leequickly got the ball rolling, taking it 88 yards to the house for another Trojan touchdown. The Trojans now had a 27-point lead on the Huskies, and there was no question as to who would be the winner.

Wide Receiver Marquis Lee breaking off for 88 yards and a touchdown, on the opening kick return of the second half. C/O Timothy Lutes

And there were still two full quarters left. That’s the kind of ‘SC football I like to see!This game meant a lot to the USC community, as it showed that the Trojans actually are capable of putting away an opponent, something the Trojans struggled to do earlier this season. As alluded to earlier, it also was a HUGE day for the defense, who held U-Dub to just 244 yards of total offense and only 17 points (though the final seven came during garbage time, so they’re irrelevant outside of the stat sheet). This game was also a big deal for cornerback Nickell Robey, as Saturday would have been the 46th birthday of his late mother. Robey dedicated that game to her, and he played at a level that she would undoubtedly be proud of. At the end of the game, Coach Kiffin game Robey the game ball.

And Lord knows he deserved it.USC also needed this win, as they will take on the Oregon Ducks at Autzen next week. And by the way the Ducks beat up on Stanford last night, the Trojans are absolutely going to need to bring their A-game. But a game that looked like a blowout at the beginning of the season now seems plausible, because this Trojan team is resilient. They have proven that they will not give up and when faced with an opponent like the Huskies—who have embarrassed the Trojans on the road and at home—they will remind them that they simply got lucky before.

Running back Marc Tyler surrounded by his teammates after he scored. USC beat the Huskies 40-17 on Saturday. C/O Timothy Lutes

I’m not sure what changed for this USC team in the past few games. Maybe they realized that it almost plausible for them to win out the season. Maybe they realized that you really can’t sanction the endzone. Or maybe they just got tired of everyone telling them they couldn’t, so they are determined to prove that they can.But whatever it is, they are looking NICE doing it, and are officially sitting comfortably at 8-2 and leading the Pac-12 South.Looks like former head coach Pete Carroll might have been right about that whole “Win Forever” thing, after all.