Sunday, September 30, 2007

USC wins fugly (but das what good teams doooo!)

A perfect storm still wasn't enough for USC to lose to Washington last weekend. I haven't seen Pete Carroll's USC squad get whipped (the 2006 national championship game against Vince Young and Texas was not a whipping) yet. For three-plus quarters, Southern California was teetering toward becoming the sixth and mightiest top-10 team to fall this weekend. Ultimately, the Trojans survived.
If USC is going to be playing LSU for a national championship in January, they'll have to tighten up in several areas.
Stafon Johnson ran for 122 yards and a touchdown and Chauncey Washington added 106 yards and a score as USC overcame its own numerous mistakes and Washington in a 27-24 victory Saturday night.
The Trojans (4-0, 2-0 Pac-10) committed three turnovers and 16 penalties — their most in more than two seasons — for 161 yards and had a missed a field goal and blocked punt. Yet they won for the 60th time in 64 games.
"We were very fortunate," USC coach Pete Carroll said, with a sigh. "We just couldn't get out of our own way. Washington, it was there to take it ... I'm so grateful to have this win." Don't worry, Pete, it won't happen again.
Ty Willingham had his squad ready to play, IN SPITE of a garbage quarterback redshirt freshman Jake Locker. Dude missed three open receivers in or near the end zone for Washington (2-3, 0-3), which lost its third consecutive game and is now 1-9-1 against No. 1 teams — including 0-7 when USC is top ranked. (Willingham still should be at Notre Dame, but that's another post).
Locker finished 12-for-27 with 83 yards passing and one interception, plus another 50 yards on 16 carries with two touchdowns.
"I need to be a lot better," Locker said.
Added offensive coordinator Tim Lappano, noticeably frustrated by Locker's wildness in what the Huskies feel were winnable defeats to Ohio State, UCLA and now USC: "We got to settle him down."
Locker's final TD came after a blocked punt and with 34 seconds left.

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