#17 Washington (3-1, 0-1) vs. #21 USC (3-1, 2-0)
Saturday, September 28th @ 12:30 p.m. PST
Husky Stadium (Seattle, Washington)
Line: Washington -10.5
Radio: KOMO AM-1000/FM-97.7
The Washington Huskies will face off against the USC Trojans at Husky Stadium as they seek their first conference win of the season.
During the game last week, the Huskies traveled on the road and came away with a dominating 45-19 victory against BYU.
This week, the Huskies are facing an opponent who is coming off their most impressive victory of the season over the Utah Utes.
So far this season, USC is currently 2-0 in Pac-12 conference play with wins against two top 25 teams in Utah and Stanford.
“We got to defend a good quarterback that just threw for over 300 yards. That’s what we got to do,” Washington head coach Chris Petersen said.
The Huskies haven’t played the Trojans since the 2016 season and this marquee matchup is shaping up to be quite a clash.
Defensively, the Huskies have come away with some timely turnovers the last couple of weeks, which have made a huge impact.
Offensively, the USC Trojans have completely overhauled their “Pro Style” offense and adopted the “Air Raid” attack.
Something has to give in this contest between the momentum surging Trojans and the “hitting their stride” Huskies.
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
QB – Jacob Eason
Last week against BYU, junior Jacob Eason was simply fantastic with his accuracy and pinpoint passing against the Cougar secondary. He finished the game with a stat line of 24 for 28, 290 yards, 3 TD’s and 1 Int. He was named an ESPN Kirk Herbstreit Top Performer for his performance.
DB – Myles Bryant
Heart and soul leader of the defense, senior Myles Bryant has flourished in his converted role to safety. Bryant led the team in tackles last week with 9 total; with 4 being solo. Bryant is an impact player in the secondary for the Huskies.
TE – Hunter Bryant
One of the biggest weapons on offense this season, junior tight end Hunter Bryant has emerged as Eason’s top target in the passing game. The Hybrid tight end does it all with his ability to catch the ball and his physicality in the blocking game.
KEY PLAYERS: USC
WR – Michael Pittman
Senior wide receiver Michael Pittman is one of the most talented receivers in the nation. With his tall frame at 6 feet 4 inches, Pittman is a physical receiver who can high-point the ball and make explosive plays downfield with his athleticism and speed.
DL – Drake Jackson
True freshman defensive lineman Drake Jackson has been nothing but impressive during his first season at USC. He creates havoc on opposing quarterbacks and is tough to block. Last week against Utah, he made is presence felt, which was a big factor in their upset victory.
DB – Talanoa Hufanga
Sophomore safety Talanoa Hufanga is a difference maker in the secondary with his ability to swarm around the football and make tackles. Last week against Utah, he was the co-leader with 14 tackles total. Hufanga was in concussion protocol this week and will not play against the Huskies.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
– Washington and USC have played one another 85 times since the series began in 1923. The Trojans hold a 52-29-4 series advantage.
– Successfully rushing the football and winning go hand-in-hand for the Huskies. Since 1990, UW has rushed for 200 yards in a game 118 times. The Huskies’ record stands at 101-16-1 (.860) in those contests.
– While the official number of “returning starters” this year for Washington included just two defensive and seven offensive players, a deeper look at the numbers reveals a lot more experience. In fact, not counting specialists (UW returns its starting placekicker, punter, holder and long snapper), Washington had 20 current players who had started at least one game on offense, and nine who had started on defense prior to the 2019 season – though obviously most of those were not the primary starter at any one position last season.
– USC has lost just once in Seattle in its last 6 visits.
– In their last 52 meetings since 1960, the Trojan-Husky winner has advanced to the Rose Bowl 29 times (21 by USC).
– USC is 43-28-1 in its last 72 games on artificial turf (not including 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 46-28-1).
Tysen Allumbaugh [“Dawg Thoughts” Show Host] (2-1)
Jeff Wright (3-1)
Here we are..a Pac-12 heavyweight matchup between two teams that are peaking at the right time. USC perception is that the program is down right now but if 3-1, 2-0 is down it just shows you what the Trojans program is all about historically. The Huskies are coming off their most complete performance of the season in all three phases of the game. What was impressive was they did it against a team that beat USC earlier in the season. This is always a “classic matchup” between USC and Washington. They don’t like the Huskies because they think that teams from the state of Washington are not better than them because they are traditionally a Southern California powerhouse. The margin for error is thin for the Huskies. They can’t afford to drop another conference game and finish the season in a good bowl game. What this comes down to for me is the inexperience of the USC quarterbacks and having to play at Husky Stadium. While Matt Fink looked good last week, that was under the confines and comfort of playing at home. This week, the Husky defense will show him what playing at Husky Stadium is all about, and the Husky offense will continue to excel and build off their momentum from last week. The Dawgs win this game and they win it comfortably. Huskies make another statement for the second consecutive week!