The Trojans played a very sloppy game filled with penalties and turnovers on Saturday. On the night the Trojans had 16 penalties for 161 yards. The Trojans also had three turnovers that the Huskies turned into 14 points. Any time a team has that many mental mistakes the coaching staff is going to take the blame. The Trojans have been uncharacteristically undisciplined at time this season and need to play smarter if they are going to make a run at the BCS National Championship.
On the positive side half of the top 10 teams in the nation lost Saturday and Pete Carroll and staff were able to guide the Trojans to a win in a game that last year's team may have lost.
John David Booty definitely made some mistakes Saturday and has plenty of room to improve. Booty had two passes intercepted and two passes tipped at the line of scrimmage on critical third downs. But the Trojans senior quarterback stayed poised in the pocket and delivered when the Trojans needed him. Booty may not be a top tier Heisman Trophy candidate at the moment but he is still one of the top quarterbacks in the country and certainly has the talent and poise to lead this USC team to a national championship.
Stanley Havili has been arguably the Trojans best weapon on offense this season. But against Washington the usually steady Havili dropped three passes, one of which was returned by Mesphin Forrester for a 54-yard touchdown. Look for Havili to bounce back with a solid performance this week against Stanford.
Running Backs: B+
Once again the USC tailbacks came out and had a solid effort led by the tough running of Stafon Johnson and Chauncey Washington. Both Johnson and Washington rushed for over a hundred yards on the night. Stafon Johnson had a game high 123 yards on 11 carries and Chauncey Washington added 111 yards.
Stafon Johnson and Chauncey Washington were the only USC tailbacks that got carries against the Huskies and C.J. Gable didn't play because he was resting his injured groin.
Tight Ends: B+
After have the best game of his career last week against Washington State, Fred Davis had another terrific performance Saturday against the Huskies. Fred Davis has emerged as John David Booty's most reliable target. Davis had 4 catches for 72 yards including a critical 32-yard reception in the third quarter that led to a Trojans touchdown.
Wide Receivers: C
Patrick Turner and John David Booty looked great early in the game. Turner had 5 receptions for 81 yards and a TD in the first half but only had 1 catch for 6 yards the rest of the night. David Ausberry only had 3 catches and Vidal Hazleton had 1 reception.
Offensive Line: B-
The Trojans offensive line suffered two major injuries in the fist quarter when Chilo Rachal and Kris O'Dowd both went down with knee injuries on the same play. Fortunately, Matt Spanos had just returned from injury and was able to fill in for the injured O'Dowd. The Trojans running game was solid again as Stafon Johnson and Chauncey Washington both rushed for over a hundred yards but a fumbled snap and several penalties plagued the group.
Defensive Line: B+
The Trojans defensive line proves every week why they are considered one of the top units in the country. Once again the defensive line shut down the running game limiting Washington to 100 yards on the ground. Senior defensive end Lawrence Jackson had 6 tackles and a sack and Sedrick Ellis had four tackles .
Thomas Williams started in place of the injured Brian Cushing and Clay Mathews and came up with a big interception as Washington was driving on the first possession of the game. The Trojans linebackers did a good job of keeping Jake Locker contained throughout the game. Rey Maualuga led the team with 10 tackles and Thomas Williams was second with 6.
The Trojans secondary has been viewed as the one potential weak spot on the Trojans defense and has been criticized by many fans for giving up too many yards this season. On Saturday the Trojans banged up secondary played their best game this year. Cornerback's Terrell Thomas, Shareece Wright and Mozique McCurtis blanketed the Huskies receivers all night. Washington quarterback Jake Locker was held to just 90 yards passing.
Special Teams: C+
The play of the game came on special teams for the Trojans. Senior cornerback Terrell Thomas stripped the ball from Washington punt returner Anthony Russo and recovered the fumble on the Trojans 43-yard line. This play changed the moment of the game and led to a field goal that put USC up 27-17.
Other than the great play by Terrell Thomas the Trojans special teams were very average against Washington.
The Trojans played a very undisciplined game and all of their mistakes nearly lead to shocking upset. But the Trojans battled Saturday and emerged victorious. Throughout the course of a long season teams occasionally come out flat and don't perform as well as they should. The main thing is the Trojans came away with a victory and are still in the hunt for the national championship. Next up Stanford.