Huskies Bushed by USC

SEATTLE, WA - Freshman Tailback Reggie Bush had nearly 300 yards of total yards, 81 rushing and 132 receiving, to lead USC to a convincing 43-23 win in Pac-10 action this afternoon at Husky Stadium. Washington could not tackle Bush as he repeatedly made Husky defenders miss. USC scored on three long pass plays to running backs, as Bush had scores of 60 and 37 yards, and fullback Brandon Hancock added a 52 yarder from QB Matt Leinart.

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  • Leinart finished the game 19 for 29 for 351 yards and 4 touchdowns, with no interceptions. USC out-gained Washington by nearly 200 yards in piling up 540 yards of offense. USC left little doubt that they were the better team in all categories.

    Unofficial Game Statistics link from ESPN.

    FIRST QUARTER: A COSTLY TURNOVER (USC 14, UW 7) - Washington had a fantastic start to the game. While USC drove on their initial possession, the Huskies held them as they approached the goal line, and Ryan Killeen's 35-yard field goal clanked off of the upright. Momentum appeared to swing to the Huskies, as they marched right down the field with a balanced attack featuring Kenny James on the ground. James broke two tackles to score from 15 yards out to make it 7-0 and the crowd was rocking.

    USC punched right back, going 74 yards to knot it at 7-all. The big play was a 25-yard Leinart to Keary Colbert connection, and those two combined later for a 20-yard touchdown right up the middle of the Husky secondary.

    Cody Pickett then made a bad mistake under some heavy pressure. With Keneche Udeze breathing down his neck, Pickett threw off his back foot lazily into the right flat for tight end Joe Toledo. USC defensive back Ronald Nunn made the easy interception and raced 57 yards to put the Trojans on top and take the momentum away.

    SECOND QUARTER: DAWGS HANG AROUND (USC 20, UW 14) - The Trojans continued to move the ball on the ground effectively, using all three of their talented tailbacks. The Huskies missed several tackles, trying to corral the speedy Trojan ball carriers, who put the aggressive Dawgs back on their heels and forced many missed tackles. Continuing a drive from the end of the first quarter, Hershel Dennis had runs of 11 and 34 yards respectively. True freshman Reggie Bush followed that with a 12 yard burst and fellow frosh LenDale White took it the final 21 yards for the 20-7 lead. Washington blocked the extra point, but the tone was firmly established for the physical and talented USC squad who began to visibly have fun at the home team's expense.

    Reggie Williams committed Washington's second turnover, as he took in a Pickett pass and was hit by Marcell Allmond and coughed it up at the USC 48, where Nunn recovered for the Trojans. USC immediately went to their young back Reggie Bush again. Bush made several Huskies miss on a 27-yard screen pass pickup, and just flat out ran away from purple-clad defenders on a 20-yard touchdown that was negated by FB Brandon Hancock's holding penalty. It turned out to be big. Two Husky penalties kept the Trojans alive, the first an offside penalty and the second on a late hit by Terry Johnson on Leinart, but a tackle for loss by Greg Carothers saved the Dawgs from going down further. All damage was avoided when Killeen's 20-yard field goal was pushed wide.

    With Charles Frederick in the locker room with a bruised shoulder, Reggie was the weapon of choice on the next Husky drive. Number 1 responded. With just over four minutes remaining before halftime, Williams took a quick slant-in from Pickett, splitting two Trojan defenders and breaking a third tackle en route to a 38-yard pickup. Offensive Guard Clay Walker moved early on third and one, but Pickett and Williams bailed him out by connecting on another quick look-in to move the chains. Pickett just missed connecting with TE Joe Toledo for an 8-yard score, as USC safety Darnell Bing twisted his helmet just as he was attempting to haul in the pass. Pickett gamely scrambled away from pressure on third down and ran over a Trojan linebacker for a four-yard gain to set up first and goal on the five. Another false start penalty backed it up five yards, where Pickett hit Williams between the linebackers and safeties in the end zone to cut the deficit to six at the half.

    Williams had nine receptions for 115 yards and a score, while USC rushed for 115 yards through the first 30 minutes.

    THIRD QUARTER: A GOLDEN OPPORUNITY SQUANDERED (29-17) - USC went back to true frosh Bush and it paid off in a big way on the initial drive of the third quarter. Bush ran a "sticks" pattern and got behind LB Tim Galloway, a terrible mismatch. He hauled in a pass down the middle of the field near the 50 and ran untouched to the Husky end zone for a 60-yard touchdown before many fans had returned to their seats. The two-point conversion failed, keeping the lead at 12.

    Washington drove back, mostly on Pickett scrambles, but a Sean Cody sack stalled the Huskies. Evan Knudson booted a 40-yard field goal to keep Washington close.

    Then the Huskies got the opportunity they were looking for, when USC finally committed a mistake. Hershel Dennis couldn't handle a Leinart pitch that bounced off of his face mask and hit the turf. CB Derrick Johnson recovered at the USC 16. Momentum seemed to have finally shifted back to Washington.

    It didn't last one play. First a hold against Reggie Williams moved it back 10 yards. On first and 18, Pickett missed a wide open TE Ben Bandel that would've been an easy touchdown. One play later Pickett was hit by Udeze and fumbled. The ball was batted backwards, and alert OT Khalif Barnes tracked down the ball just before the USC speed guys were arriving. It was a 38-yard loss, but it avoided a sure Trojan touchdown. Garth Erickson's punt angled out of bounds at the Trojan 7.

    Washington was visibly deflated, and momentum quickly shifted back to the visitors. USC moved it quickly out of the shadows of their own end zone and drove to a 20-yard Killeen field goal.

    FOURTH QUARTER: BUSHWACKED (USC 43, UW 23) - The Trojans salted the game away early in the fourth quarter. On third and four, Brandon Hancock ran a wheel route out of the backfield and hauled in a Leinart pass just behind Marquis Cooper. He broke away from Jimmy Newell down the sideline and outran the Husky defenders for an easy 52-yard touchdown.

    Bush struck again on a wheel route, beating Carothers in another horrific mismatch for a 37 yard easy-as-you-please score. Norm Chow clearly won the match up of coordinators with Washington's Phil Snow. The Huskies never did stop the USC tailbacks either on the ground or as receivers.

    Cody Pickett added a two-yard touchdown on a keeper to finish the scoring.

    It's true – Speed does kill and it killed Washington today. Reggie Bush was one of Rick Neuheisel's top recruits last year, but Bush committed to USC shortly after his visit to Seattle, telling uncle (former UW fullback) Darius Turner that he had not enjoyed his time with the former Husky coach.


    USC improves to 7-1 (3-1) while Washington falls to 4-4 (2-2). The Trojans' are firing on all cylinders now, and their match up with WSU next weekend looks like it could be for the conference championship.

    Player quotes, Gilbertson quotes, complete statistics, and DAWGTRACKER will be posted from the Don James center later this evening. Top Stories