Game Analysis - UW/USC

A closer look at what went right, what went wrong and what needs work during Washington's stunning 17-12 win over USC in Los Angeles...

Turning Point/Play of the Game: There were a couple of moments, but you'd have to say that Travis Feeney's sack on Cody Kessler on 3rd-and-6 from the Washington 25 was the play that decided things. Kessler dropped back to pass and rolled to his right, DT Elijah Qualls came up field and hemmed in the Trojan signal-caller, allowing Feeney to track him down from the backside for a loss of three. While that might seem like a rather small loss of yardage, it definitely made a difference as USC K Alex Wood's 46-yard field goal attempt hit the crossbar ending the momentum for the the Trojans.

A runner-up play would be the six-yard completion from Jake Browning to Jaydon Mickens on 3rd-and-5 to give the Huskies one last set of downs and they were able to run out the clock by kneeling down three more times.

Offensive Player of the Game: Freshman RB Myles Gaskin had 134 yards and scored the game-winning touchdown on 22 carries, gashing a very good USC run defense for chunks of yardage, especially in the second half.

Defensive Player of the Game: Feeney had a huge game, arguably the best of his career, constantly harrassing Kessler while showing great discipline on run and pass plays when he was asked to set the edge or drop into coverage. Feeney finished the game with seven tackles, 3.5 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks and three quarterback hurries.

Handouts to the standouts: Even though he didn't play most of the fourth quarter, LB Azeem Victor still managed to post a team-leading 10 tackles, a sack and three tackles-for-loss; LB Keishawn Bierria continues his solid play, posting eight tackles, a sack that forced USC to settle for a field goal in the first quarter and two tackles-for-loss; S Budda Baker, returning after nursing an ankle injury for the past couple of weeks, was solid in the deep patrol, keeping a lid on the offense and not allowing anything deep. The sophmore finished with eight tackles and one pass breakup; DT Elijah Qualls plays a position that goes under appreciated as far as stats are concerned, but he got good push up the middle when USC dropped back to pass. He managed to post two tackles, one tackle-for-loss and a sack on the night, but his contributions were much bigger than his stats indicate; WR Marvin Hall threw a 27-yard touchdown to TE Josh Perkins in the third quarter, putting Washington up 10-6; WR Brayden Lenius had a spectacular catch, going up over a USC defender to haul in an acrobatic 22-yard reception to give UW a first down in the third quarter; collectively the offensive line, but especially Jake Eldrenkamp and Siosifa Tufunga, led the way to 150 yards on the ground. LT Trey Adams had some struggles early, but he shored things up and had a very good game in the second half; Mickens had six receptions for just 49 yards, but three of those receptions resulted in big first downs including the final one for six yards that essentially put the game away; the coverage teams, both the kick return and punt return units, were outstanding, holding USC's electric punt/kick returner Adoree Jackson to three punt returns for just 12 yards and three kick returns for 66 yards; P Korey Durkee had a solid afternoon, keeping the ball away from Jackson most of the night and averaged 47 yards on three punts with a long of 55 and one downed inside the 20; Browning did struggle most of the night in the passing game, missing several open receivers deep and Mickens for a sure touchdown, but his two punts, left footed surprisingly, pinned USC deep and kept Jackson from getting his hands on the ball.

Stat of the game: Going into the game, USC had just two turnovers all season, ranking 4th in the nation, but Washington forced two interceptions and a fumble and dropped a third interception. Only one of the turnovers resulted in points for the Huskies, but the two early interceptions set the tone for the evening.

Needs work: The passing game had its struggles, but there were also plenty of times where Browning was able to get key completions and first downs. More than anything, hitting some of the long passes where he had receivers open for long gainers or touchdowns would really go a long way in helping the offense keep so many defenders from crowding the box.

Bottom Line: The win over USC is the biggest since the Huskies beat Nebraska in the 2010 Holiday Bowl. It was a game UW was supposed to lose. It was a game many thought would be over by halftime. That wasn't the case. The defense came out focused and intense while the offense stuck with the run and eventually got that going as well. It wasn't a pretty win, but it was one of the more physical games the Huskies have played in the past decade and they came out on top. Could this propel them onto more unexpected wins? We'll have to wait and see what happens, but Husky nation is absolutely giddy with the win over a top 20 team as well as their old head coach. It doesn't get much better than that. Top Stories