Gilbertson had endless praise for Pete Carroll's team and all the talent that they have brought in over the past few years. "They are very, very talented. They have recruited the top classes in the West and they have a lot of great athletes. They have good schemes and they are very hard to play against with all that they are capable of doing. Anytime a team can run their fullbacks and tailbacks out of the backfield and past your secondary, that is indicative of the talent they have."
Not only does USC have all the talent, but they also have one of the most respected offensive minds in football in Norm Chow. "Their offense is really good. I don't think we tackled very well, but their kids can flat make you miss. They are difficult to defend, and if you aren't tackling just as crisp as you can tackle, then they are going to make plays. Every kid that they hand it to and throw it to, can break it," said Gilbertson.
Speaking of talent, could anybody today have stopped former Husky Darius Turner's nephew today? "I think you can see why Reggie Bush was the highest recruited player in the West last year. He is really something," said Gilbertson.
Bush was finding wide open space and he flew. "We can't run with Reggie Bush. But the one up the middle, we blew a coverage. We were in a man and the guy that had him didn't even look at him. On his other big play, we don't have corner, safety, or linebacker that can run with Bush, he is really fast … and the pads don't slow him down."
When asked if USC's overall talent compares to that Miami team the Huskies faced, Gilbertson responded, "Oh yah, no question about it."
On how the defense defending WR Mike Williams, Gilbertson responded, "We certainly can't get up and play bump and run with the size of our corners. I don't like that matchup very much. I'd rather take a chance of them throwing it in front of us than trying to defend that guy running down the field."
The Huskies on offense tried to spread the Trojan defense out all afternoon long. "We were without Rich (Alexis) and we didn't want to get into a bang-bang game with the two smaller tailbacks. I thought the plan was good and we moved the ball." Gilbertson mentioned that he thought both Kenny James and Shelton Sampson played well.
On Cody Pickett's interception that was returned for a touchdown, Gilbertson confirmed that he was just trying to throw it away. "Take the sack!" was Coach's advice for his quarterback.
The Huskies kept the game tight until they failed to convert on Hershel Dennis' fumble in the third quarter. "It was a shame we didn't get a chance to try to close to within two points after we got that turnover. We ended up with a play that I thought was an incomplete forward pass, and we ended up having to punt on that series. We also missed a ball to the tight end that would have been a touchdown, and we never really threatened again."
Gilbertson reiterated that that was the crucial point in the game. "The crowd was a factor, it was a vintage opportunity to make something happen."
One spark on offense that was distinguished after the first quarter was Charles Frederick leaving the game with a chest injury. "Charles brings a lot of dimension to our offense, and he gives Cody another target to go to that he has confidence in. We were playing three freshmen wide receivers, a redshirt freshman tight end, and two redshirt freshmen running backs. We are not very experienced in the skill positions, and when we lose a very valuable guy, it really takes a lot out of our offense." Gilbertson doubts that Frederick will be back by next week.
Reggie Williams had no catches in the second half, and Gilbertson noted that it was hard to get him the ball because the Huskies didn't have the football. "USC controlled the clock and just ran off play after play after play. I just felt like we never had a chance to get him on track again. And after we lost Charles, a lot of the attention goes to Reggie and we don't have the balance in the passing game."
Gilbertson also noted that in the second half, USC's pass rush was a lot better. "When they get ahead of you and they can turn that pass rush loose, they are tough."
Gilbertson noted that an area of disappointment for him was the tackling. "I thought our tackling was poor." Another area that has been a concern is the red-zone performance. "For the most part, I was happy with it, but against USC, you have to get in there a lot more often. Defensively, I thought we got some nice stops and they missed some field goals."
One play that was talked about was the 52-yard touchdown pass to their fullback in the fourth quarter. "We thought Marquis Cooper got cracked, but we're the only ones that did. At that point, nobody really cared what I was saying about it."
On the injury front, TE Joe Toledo sprained his ankle and Gilbertson believes he will be done for the season. "Those high ankle sprains take a long time to heal and we only have four games to go," said Gilbertson. Evan Benjamin was also hurt, but he appears to be fine.