The Fifth Quarter - USC

At the Fifth Quarter, we pick up all the loose ends from Saturday's game, including full stats, players and coaches of the game, turning points and other opinions on No. 1 USC's 27-24 nailbiter over Washington at Husky Stadium.

The final full statistics of the game can be found here.

Offensive Player of the Game - Jared Ballman. With no offensive player truly standing out, we'll go with Ballman - who was a real weapon for the Huskies. Of his seven kicks, five ended up inside the 20. Runner-up: Jake Locker.

Defensive Player of the Game - Mesphin Forrester. His pick-six was exactly what the Huskies needed at the time, and he also led the Huskies in tackles with 10. This pick was a no-brainer. Runner-up: Daniel Te'o-Nesheim.

Turning point - Russo's fumble. After Washington had crawled back to within seven points, it looked like they had only a couple more chances to make their mark. After a couple of USC false starts and an incomplete pass, Husky Stadium was really rocking, and UW was getting the ball back - and probably in good field position. Anthony Russo - who has been very solid returning punts all season, was stripped of the ball by USC's Terrell Thomas at probably the most crucial juncture of the game, giving the Trojans the field position they would need to eventually put themselves up by two scores with not enough time to reasonably get back in the ball game.

Play of the Game - Mesphin Forrester's 54-yard interception return for six. The Trojans had scored on their previous two drives, and the Washington offense was starting to stagnate. It appeared when USC got the ball again, nothing was going to stop them from running the ball down the field. Mesphin Forrester had other ideas. His interception off a tipped pass from John David Booty to Stanley Havili was big enough on it's own - his runback to paydirt, which included a great cutback into open space - was just a joy to watch. UW fans haven't been treated to a lot of big plays like that against top-rated teams. Forrester's play is certainly one that will grace a lot of post-season UW highlight reels.

Unit of the game - The Defensive Backs. They were banged up, they were low in numbers, and they still played with incredible heart and poise. And if Byron Davenport comes up clean with an interception in the end zone late, we just might be talking about a different outcome to this game. Their half-time adjustments allowed them to get more and more aggressive as the game went on, and in the fourth quarter Booty only completed 2 of 6 passes. The loss of Jason Wells was really huge, yet the DB's were able to hang together.

Assistant of the game - J.D. Williams. For all the reasons I mentioned above. Wells wasn't around for a big part of the game, and Nate Williams was held out after being hit hard on a punt cover play. Williams was able to keep his guys focused and aggressive and in the game for the full 60 minutes.

Fan 'o meter - From 1 to 10, we give it a 10. 68,654 fans at Husky Stadium, and at times it was just rockin'. The noise created some false starts for the Trojans, and definitely got the juices amped up for most of the game. Being down on the sidelines for most of the fourth quarter, it was very loud.

Stat of the game - For the second-straight game, the Huskies just didn't have an answer for the opposition's running game. Two more RB's gained 100 yards each - Stafon Johnson and Chauncey Washington, making it four 100-yard rushers in the past eight quarters of football.

Note of the game - USC finished the first quarter having committed seven penalties for 60 yards. The Trojans finished the game with 16 penalties for 161 yards, compared to 9 for 64 yards for the Huskies. Still, the Huskies have yet to commit double-digit penalties in a game under Coach Tyrone Willingham (28 games). The 161 yards in penalties that USC accumulated were the third-most in UW opponent history.


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