Game rewind: Washington

The Set Up: USC returned home after rebounding nicely from a demoralizing 56-48 triple-overtime loss to then-No.4 Stanford with a resounding 42-17 thumping of newest Pac-12 member Colorado. Matt Barkley set a school record with 6 touchdown passes, and the Trojans cruised despite the chilly weather in Boulder. USC hoped to beat Washington after losing to Huskies’ head coach and former USC assistant Steve Sarkisian the past two seasons.

The Story: The Trojans kept the good times rolling against Washington by romping the Huskies to the tune of 40-17.

Junior quarterback Matt Barkley did not have his best game, throwing for a modest 174 yards and one touchdown. Robert Woods, limited by injuries, was quiet too; he only registered just two catches for 5 yards.

Instead of relying on the passing game, USC used budding star Curtis McNeal and a resurgent defense to beat Washington for the first time since 2008. McNeal tallied 148 yards on the ground to go with a touchdown, which came on a dazzling 79-yard scamper in the 3rd quarter.

The Men of Troy got things started early, marching down the field on their second drive of the game and scoring on a 1-yard Barkley touchdown run. Washington answered with a field goal, but the rest of the first half was dominated by USC, with the Trojans notching 16 unanswered points to take a 23-3 lead to the locker room.

The second half opened with a bang as Marqise Lee took the opening boot back 88 yards for a touchdown. When it was all said and done, USC celebrated a 33-point victory over the pesky Huskies, and the Trojans looked most impressive in doing so. USC out gained Washington 252 to 46 on the ground and accounted for almost 200 more total yards, 426-244.

Defensive Dominance: USC shut down a prolific Husky attack from start to finish. Washington came into the game ranked 31st nationally in scoring offense, averaging over 33 points a game. The Huskies were held to just 17 by USC. 1,000-yard rusher and former Trojan commit Chris Polk was stymied, managing just 36 yards on 9 carries. Perhaps most impressively, USC recorded seven sacks and a safety on the Husky tandem of Keith Price and Nick Montana.

Up Next: The Trojans head to Eugene for a revenge game against Oregon, but this one will be a much stiffer test than the Washington game. The No. 4 ranked Ducks are fresh off a massacre of then-No. 3 ranked Stanford Cardinal and are playing some of the best football in the country. USC will have its hands full with the Ducks top ranked rushing attack that spreads the field and challenges defenses to tackle well in space. Last year in the Coliseum, Oregon topped USC 53-32 behind 239 yards and 3 TD from star tailback LaMichael James.