Los Angeles, CA –
USC quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 312 yards and three touchdowns but it wasn’t enough as No. 5 Washington racked up 572 yards of total offense to defeat the Trojans 52-42 in a shootout on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
Washington’s Michael Penix Jr. passed for 256 yards and two touchdowns while running back Dillon Johnson rushed for 256 yards and four touchdowns to help the Huskies remain undefeated.
Both teams traded blows like a heavyweight title fight and combined for 1,087 yards but the Huskies made bigger plays at the right moment. USC suffered its third loss of the season and the defense has given up at least 40 points for the fifth time in its last six games.
“We didn’t play very well tonight. Biggest thing was the run game,” USC coach Lincoln Riley said. “Way too many big plays, and then some of our worst ball was on some of the biggest plays of the game.”
On USC’s opening possession, they marched down the field on a 12-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a Raleek Brown 2-yard touchdown run. UW came right back with a 2-yard touchdown run from Johnson.
At the end of the first quarter, freshman Duce Robinson blocked a punt and two plays later, Williams scored from a yard out to give USC a 14-7 lead. The Huskies answered with a Penix 22-yard touchdown pass to Devin Culp.
Darwin Barlow’s 1-yard touchdown run gave USC a 21-14 lead but the Huskies came right back to tie it on Johnson’s 52-yard touchdown run. USC regained the lead 28-21 when Williams hit Tahj Washington for a 41-yard touchdown.
UW tied it once again when Penix threw a 4-yard touchdown to Ja’Lynn Polk. On the ensuing drive, Williams lost the football and the Huskies recovered the fumble. Johnson scored on a 1-yard run to give Washington a 35-28 lead with 20 seconds left in the second quarter.
“I don’t dance anyway.” Johnson said. “I’m a physical runner, but the offensive line did a great job making holes for me. So my run game was pretty easy. I just hit whatever hole that was open.”
Williams tied it 35-35 on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Brenden Rice in the third quarter. Penix gave UW the lead with a 1-yard touchdown run before USC tied it 42-42 with a Williams 20-yard touchdown pass to Mario Williams.
USC was able to hold the Huskies to a field goal in the fourth quarter but the offense couldn’t get into the end zone and UW put the game away with Johnson fourth touchdown of the game.
“Super proud of they way our team fought tonight,” Washington coach Kalen Deboer said. “ We finished, that’s the big thing, 10-0 in the fourth quarter. That’s the difference in the game.”
USC will be at Oregon next Saturday before returning home for the season finale against crosstown rival UCLA on Nov. 18.