USC Football Opens Pac-10 Play At Washington
Sept. 13, 2009
No. 3 USC opens its Pac-10 schedule at rebuilding Washington, where the Trojans will see lots of familiar faces on the other side of the field. New Washington head coach Steve Sarkisian and 5 of his football staffers have strong, recent USC ties. Troy is just 2 games over .500 in Seattle, where rain is always a possibility. Although USC has won 7 in a row against the Huskies, the series with Washington traditionally features close outcomes. It's the start of Troy's quest for an unprecedented eighth straight Pac-10 title (the Trojans also claim 7 consecutive AP Top 4 finishes, BCS bowl trips and 11-win seasons). USC is riding a 12-game winning streak and an 8-game Pac-10 victory string. This is the 94th consecutive game the Trojans have been ranked in the AP Top 25, extending their school record. USC's Pete Carroll is college football's winningest active coach (85.7%). USC goes to Seattle riding the momentum of a hard-fought, last-minute win at Ohio State. True freshman QB Matt Barkley--who calmly directed the Trojans' dramatic game-winning drive in Columbus--continues to impress with his talent, poise and leadership. USC's offense showcases tons of skilled players, including TBs Joe McKnight (the exciting all-purpose player has emerged as Troy's go-to runner) and Stafon Johnson (USC's touchdown scoring specialist) and WR Damian Williams, plus perhaps the top offensive line in the country, led by OG-C Jeff Byers and C Kristofer O'Dowd. The new USC defense--with the likes of 2-time All-American S Taylor Mays, a top Thorpe Award candidate, while LB Chris Galippo--appears to be as dominant as last year's unit, as it is ranked in the Top 15 nationally this week in every defensive stat category. Washington snapped a Pac-10 record-tying 15-game losing streak last Saturday by beating Idaho at home. The Husky offense (20th nationally in passing) is led by multi-threat QB Jake Locker, who tops the Pac-10 in total offense. He is surrounded by high-potential young runners and receivers, including TB Chris Polk and WR James Johnson. The veteran UW defense features LBs E.J. Savannah, Donald Butler and Mason Foster and DE Daniel Te'o-Nesheim. The game will be televised live regionally by ABC-TV.