USC vs. Washington: View from Los Angeles


Oct 13, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Southern California Trojans cornerback Anthony Brown (16) celebrates with teammates Tony Burnett (34) , George Farmer (8) and T.J. McDonald (7) after scoring on a 7-yard blocked punt return in the second quarter against the Washington Huskies at CenturyLink Field. USC defeated Washington 24-14. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-US PRESSWIRE

The Trojans improved 5-1 on Saturday with a 24-14 win over Washington in Seattle. But, that didn’t sit too well with the media and fans alike, as the Trojans had a lot to account for after the game. Here’s what’s being said from the USC beat:

Kiffin could have adopted his old friend Al Davis’ “Just win, baby” attitude if USC hadn’t stumbled against Stanford. Now, USC has to not only win but look good doing it if they are going to be the top-ranked one-loss team. They’re already behind one-loss LSU and will likely be behind one-loss Oklahoma when the new polls come out, and both of those teams lost after USC.

All week Kiffin talked about the crowd noise the Trojans would have to battle at CenturyLink Field, and the 66,202 in attendance lived up to the hype. It was a raucous atmosphere, particularly in the second half as the Huskies held USC’s offense in check. It will be an experience the Trojans may need to rely on again down the road as they travel to Tucson in two weeks to take on Arizona, as well as possibly playing in the Pac-12 Championship game as a visitor. Lane Kiffin seemed pleased.

Receiver Robert Woods, who had a team-high five catches for 88 yards, described the passing attack as “terrible.” But every other aspect of USC’s game was pretty good. Even spectacular at times. The running game churned out 204 yards against a Washington defense determined to prevent big passing plays. Silas Redd provided 155 of those yards, his third 100-yard rushing performance of the season. The special teams contributed a touchdown courtesy of Anthony Brown, who blocked Travis Coon’s punt late in the second quarter, scooped up the ball and ran it into the end zone. That gave USC a 24-7 halftime lead.

Just a lot of sloppy play. This team is not getting better on offense. Special teams is becoming an issue with respect to making FG’s or stopping blocked kicks. The defense is saving us drive after drive…that will not last as the season progress. Even the Defense had some sloppy play.

Defensive back Josh Shaw, who made his debut at cornerback Saturday and had an interception, said he heard his teammates discussing just how much improvement they’ve made over the past year. He didn’t see any of it because he transferred from Florida in January, but he believes it. “I wasn’t here last year, but the talk is that this defense is much improved,” Shaw said after the game. “We’re looking pretty good.”