Trojans Show Some Heart and Emotion defeating Cal 24-17
In a very unusual setting, the Trojans scored a very unusual win, with tailback Chauncey Williams going for 220 yards rushing and a touchdown. Washington played like a man possessed and ran the ball with determination so lacking of late from the running backs. A light but persistent rain started falling in Berkeley in the early afternoon hours and didn't stop until the game was well over.
During the morning walk-throughs, Trojan coaches thought it would rain at game time so they decided they would run the ball. Sitting in the unrelenting rain in the afternoon, many speculated both teams would be running the ball.
Head Coach Pete Carroll said, "We'd been wanting Chauncey (Washington) to be the energy on offense." Starting the game, Washington ran the ball with determination and it was obvious he would not be denied.
Like the game in 2006 against the Arizona State Sundevils, when Washington decided to take the game in his own hands, again he played like he wanted the ball on every play. It leaves one to wonder if he will continue with this attitude in his last three games of his college career. Washington carried the ball 29 times, the most any Trojan tailback has carried the ball in a single game this season.
Defense Comes Up Big, Again
Earlier in the week, Pete Carroll tried to explain the team's offensive struggles. He said the offense has been set back by injuries all year. Starting with Patrick Turner's shoulder injury, then multiple injuries to the offensive line and running backs, finally ending with quarterback John David Booty's broken finger.
What Carroll did not have to explain is the stellar play of the defense. Once again, the defense came up big and carried the Trojans to a big win.
Each week, USC has found a way to come up with big plays on defense. Last week it was the constant pressure to the quarterback and nine sacks. This week it was the secondary who saved the day.
Lead by safeties Taylor Mays, (10 tackles – 3 assisted) and Kevin Ellison (8 tackles – 5 assisted), the Trojans played a consistent defensive ball game. Cornerback Terrell Thomas put an exclamation point by intercepting a game ending Nate Longshore pass when the Bears were effectively racing the ball down the field in the closing moments of the game.