USC Edges Washington, 27-24
Sept. 29, 2007
SEATTLE (AP) - For three-plus quarters, USC was teetering toward becoming the sixth and mightiest top-10 team to fall this weekend.
Ultimately, the top-ranked Trojans survived.
The Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-10) committed three turnovers and 16 penalties - their most in more than two seasons - for 161 yards and had a missed a field goal and blocked punt. Yet they won for the 60th time in 64 games.
Redshirt freshman Jake Locker continued his erratic passing by missing three open receivers in or near the end zone for Washington (2-3, 0-3), which lost its third consecutive game and is now 1-9-1 against No. 1 teams - including 0-7 when USC is top ranked.
Locker finished 12-for-27 with 83 yards passing and one interception, plus another 50 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns. His final TD came after a blocked punt and with 34 seconds left.
USC then recovered the onside kick and could finally relax.
The Huskies were wearing the dark and gold jerseys and plain, gold helmets of the 1960 team which beat No. 1 Minnesota in the Rose Bowl, the only time Washington has beaten a top-ranked opponent.
The previous magic was rubbing off - until the fourth quarter.
It took until 4:53 remained in the third quarter before USC got comfortable. Booty's 32-yard pass to Fred Davis set up Washington's 2-yard touchdown run that gave the Trojans a 24-14 lead.
Yet the Huskies trailed just 24-17 after a 37-yard field goal by Ryan Perkins with 12:44 left - after Locker threw wide and high of open receivers on successive throws to the end zone.
After an errant pass by Booty with 7:15 left forced USC to punt, Washington coach Tyrone Willingham stomped up the sidelines, looked at his offense with a smile and yelled 'Let's Go!' But then the Trojans' Terrell Thomas ripped the ball from Anthony Russo's arms on a punt return and recovered the fumble at the Huskies 43.
Officials initially ruled Booty had thrown his third interception, to Byron Davenport in the end zone with 3:06 left. But a replay review revealed Davenport juggled the ball off the turf as he fell onto his back. Washington defensive coordinator Kent Baer threw his play card into the turf as the referee announced the reversal to an incomplete pass.
On the next play, David Buehler kicked a 33-yard field goal amid rousing boos to give USC a 27-17 lead.