Los Angeles, CA – USC made it easy for the Washington Huskies to hand them their second loss of conference play. Cody Kessler’s two first quarter interceptions and a fumble by receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster proved to be costly in a disappointing 17-12 loss for the men of Troy.
The Huskies made life difficult for the struggling Kessler most of the night.
But USC also stood their ground on the defensive end early.
Washington’s first three possessions began in Trojan territory but they failed to squeeze any points. Freshman CB Iman Marshall tallied his first interception with USC, which lead to a 34-yard field goal and the team’s first points.
Neither team could grab much momentum in the first half. USC would have to settle for a field goal on the last possession of the second quarter and sent the Trojans up 6-3 at the half.
USC’s running attack racked up 106 yards on the ground thru intermission. Washington came in to the contest giving up just under 105 yards in the running game. But with a hurried Kessler, USC’s offense was never in sync.
The Trojans began the second half the same way they began the game. This time, Smith-Schuster’s fumble would set up the Huskies in USC territory and they wouldn’t spoil their opportunity. On the very next play, with some trickery, the Huskies would score a 27-yard touchdown on a double pass that found TE Joshua Perkins in the end zone uncovered to take a 10-6 lead.
It would just get worse for the Trojans as Huskies RB Myles Gaskin gashed the Trojan defense. He would go in for a 1-yard touchdown on the second play of the fourth quarter.
Washington’s defense kept the Trojans out of the end zone until early in the fourth quarter. RB Ronald Jones answered on the next possession with a 1-yard score of his own to inch USC closer.
But the Trojans failed to mustard any points on their last possession that began with 6:59 minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Kessler finished the night well under the 324 passing yards he came in averaging. He totaled 156-yards threw the air on 16 of 29 passing with 2 interceptions. Jake Browning went 16 for 32 with 1 interception and 137 passing yards.
Gaskin ended with 134-yards on the ground on 22 carries for the Huskies. USC running back Tre Madden also rushed for over 100- yards on 17 touches.
“At the end of the day, we didn’t coach well enough and we didn’t play well enough to deserve to win the game,” said USC head coach Steve Sarkisian.
Sarkision left Washington before their bowl game to accept the head coaching position with the Trojans.
He says it was a big win for the Huskies and he holds no personal remorse.
“I’m proud of those kids. I recruited them, they have good coaches and they are great players,” said Sarkisian.
USC will try to move on from this loss, which left fans giving them the boo-birds at the end of the third quarter. They travel to South Bend next Saturday Oct 17th to play Notre Dame next week.