The big key to this game is containing Husky quarterback Jake Locker. Locker is a 6'3"/225 lb. quarterback who could give the Trojans a handful. It's no secret that over Pete Carroll's tenure, running quarterbacks give the USC defense fits. Locker passes for an average of over 175 yards per game and rushes for over 90. The key, then for the Trojans this weekend is containing the dual threat Locker.
Managing the Elements
Pete Carroll stated during his weekly press conference, that the Trojans fared well in the rain this weekend. And he is correct. Traditionally USC has fared well, playing in a dense fog two years ago at Oregon State and in a hailstorm at Washington State last year. Staying away from rain would be ideal for the Trojans. Weather can be a game changer in any football contest.
USC Linebackers and Corners
To be successful this weekend against the Washington Huskies, Trojan linebackers (and defensive line) need to contain Locker. With Thomas Williams getting the nod at linebacker, the linebacking corps will have to keep Locker in check. As well, Shareece Wright needs to continue his stellar play at corner.
Trojan Tailback by Committee
There is a potential for USC tailbacks to make a mark in this game. On the ground Boise State gained 103 yards, Ohio State had 263 and UCLA gained 333 yards. This could be an open door for USC tailbacks, particularly if rain falls on the stadium. The current weather forecast is rain on Friday and clouds for Saturday.
The Trojan passing game is in development, and last weekend's contest with Washington State saw the emergence of Fred Davis at tight end. Davis put on a dominating performance. He will continue to grab passes, but look for the wide receivers to continue progress in catching John David Booty passes.