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Lame ducks lay a goose egg in LA
Trojans pound Dawgs 56-0
Malamute, 2 November 2008

Playing a winless team with a lame duck coach,  Southern California pounced on the Washington Huskies, thrashing them 56-0 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum before a homecoming crowd of 80,216. Mark Sanchez completed 15 of 29 passes for 167 yards and two touchdowns.

The Huskies are now 0-8 on the season and 0-10 dating back to last season. The last time the Huskies were shut out was against USC in 2004, 38-0.

Washington is the only winless team in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Trojans roared off to a 42-0 lead at half, scoring on their first six possessions. Playing mostly second-team players and primarily running the ball and throwing just 3 passes, the Trojans eased off in the second half, scoring just 2 touchdowns. You certainly can't accuse coach Pete Carroll of running up the score.

And he gave Washington chances to score; however, two interceptions killed its drives.

In the fourth quarter, quarterback Ronnie Fouch, out of Redlands East Valley, drove Washington 92 yards to the Southern California 6, where he was intercepted by Chris Galippo and returned 50 yards.

A 41-yard drive later in the fourth quarter quarter ended when Fouch was intercepted after leading the Dawgs to the 'SC 25.

Fouch completed 14 of 33 passes for 113 yards and 3 picks. His passing efficiency rating was 53.01 on the night.

The Dawgs accounted for 184 yards on offense, 71 of them on the ground. USC drilled the Huskies for 485 total yards, seemingly a microcosm of what could have been.

UW tailback Brandon Johnson posted 54 yards on 18 carries, while Southern California's C. J. Gable netted 108 yards on 10 rushes. A barreling Johnie Kirton (DE) ran Gable down on a 50-yard gallop, catching an ankle from behind.

For me, Kirton's rundown was the highlight of the season.


It's a shame that Jim Mora Jr. said he was not a candidate for the head coaching job at Washington, which was vacated by the resignation (firing) of Tyrone Willingham. Mora has all of the potential -- the fire, enthusiasm and drive -- needed to bring the Huskies back from what seems as of now to be on the brink of a singularity. Mora has a coaching pedigree and a Husky background, having played for Washington and Don James in the 1981, '82, and '83 seasons. A former coach of the Atlanta Falcons, he led Atlanta to the NFL championship game in 2004.

Last February, Mora signed a five-year contract with the Seattle Seahawks, four years as head coach following Mike Holmgren, who is stepping down in 2009. Because of that, I considered Mora to be a long-shot candidate when the coaching speculation began at Washington, so I wasn't all that disappointed in his recent statement that nixed the Dawgs.

Mora wasn't altogether the perfect fit. His "Softy" interview and the ammonia sniffing and anger incidents all questioned his good judgment in my mind. Also his one-year stint as a graduate assistant at Washington in 1984 is his only college coaching experience.

Coaching the Huskies will be a hard sell to make.

The Huskies are 12-43 over the last five years; it's been six years since they've been to a bowl, and their 87-year old stadium needs a $300 million face lift, this in a bad economy.

Recently, one of their hometown newspapers, the Seattle Times, savaged the memory of Husky hero Curtis Williams, six years after his tragic death and just before signing day.

The Huskies' nationwide search for a new AD to replace Todd Turner proved fruitless, and UW had to hire a guy from within the ranks, namely Scott Woodward, who school president Mark Emmert previously had said was needed for another job.

The new coach will be stepping into an uncertain future, into a job that carries with it a high risk of failure. He will be the fifth coach over a nine-year period.

The parameters of the situation -- the bad economy, high salary requirements, the losing record, the prospects of a bad recruiting year, the negative Seattle press corps, the wretched stadium, the coaching carousel, et al -- diminish the likelihood of hiring of a proven, successful BCS head coach. Why step into quicksand when you can take the safe route and stay where you are? Affordability is a huge question, since most of these guys are already making big bucks.

For example, when he was provost at LSU, Mark Emmert hired Nick Saban to coach the Tigers. Saban makes $3.75 million.

For most of the same reasons, it's questionable that a successful, non-BCS head coach would want the job, however the more likely he would be than the BCS stud. Of course, one of them might apply just to renegotiate a higher salary with his current employer.

For example, Kyle Wittingham, head coach of Utah, has been listed as a possible candidate. Wittingham is 47-years old and makes $700 thousand a year.

Chris Petersen of Boise State has been mentioned. Last year, he said "never say 'never'" when speculation about coaching another team in a more prestigious conference arose. His salary is close to $1 million a year with incentives.

It's more likely that Washington will choose from the ranks of defensive and offensive coordinators out of successful BCS schools, such as Texas, Oklahoma, or USC, say. These gents are making between $200K and $450K a year; I mean, dangle $2-mil-per in front of one of them and see if he bites, then sign him to five years of purgatory. Just kidding about the last part.

Lane Kiffin, who was recently fired by the Oakland Raiders as head coach deserves consideration and has reportedly expressed interest in the job, where interest is half the battle. I'd grab him before somebody else snaps him up if what they say (e.g., Pete Carroll) about him is true. Of course, Al Davis might have another story.

Texas defensive coordinator Will Muschamp, a potential candidate, gave up 474 passing yards to Texas Tech quarterback Graham Harrell last night. Don't they teach pass defense in the Big 12? It's no wonder the conference has so many "great" passers this year.

UCLA's defensive coordinator DeWayne Walker, another candidate, shot himself in the foot when he turned down the defensive coordinator's post at UW earlier in the year. He could have been an heir apparent to the job.

Singularity: Where the laws of physics cease to exist.


Team 1 2 3 4 Total
UW 0 0 0 0 0
USC 21 21 7 7 56

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
10:14 USC TD Mark Sanchez 4-yard pass to Patrick Turner; David Buehler kick. USC, 7-0
4:29 USC TD Sanchez 32-yard pass to Turner; Buehler kick. USC, 14-0
3:31 USC TD C. J. Gable 9-yard run; Buehler kick. USC, 21-0
2nd qtr
10:37 USC TD Sanchez 1-yard run; Buehler kick. USC, 28-0
9:06 USC TD Stafon Johnson 1-yard run; Buehler kick. USC, 35-0
3:04 USC TD Gable 6-yard run; Buehler kick. USC, 42-0
3rd qtr
5:24 USC TD Broderick Green 5-yard run; Buehler kick. USC, 49-0
4th qtr
8:02 USC TD Marc Tyler 6-yard run; Buehler kick. USC, 56-0


Statistic UW USC
Total First Downs 15 25
  Rushing 6 14
  Passing 6 8
  Penalty 3 3
Total Net Yards 184 485
Net Yards Passing 113 188
Net Yards Rushing 71 297
Completions-att-int 13-33-3 16-20-0
Punts, yards, average 6-233; 38.8 1-50
Sacks by (number, yards) 0-0 1-9
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 5-87-0 1-43-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 0-0-0 4-52-0
Kickoff Yards 1-68 9-623
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 4
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 3-85-0
Penalties Yards 5-43 10-90
Fumbles: number/lost 0-0 0-0
Time of Possession  29:04 30:56

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Mark Sanchez 15 19 167 2 0
Mitch Mustaine 1 1 21 0 0
Ronnie Fouch 14 33 113 0 3
Trojans' Rushing No. Yds TDs Long  
C. J. Gable 10 108 2 50  
Marc Tyler 16 85 1 24  
Stafon Johnson 8 40 1 18  
Broderick Green 5 23 1 7  
Mark Sanchez 4 14 1 15  
Stanley Havili 2 13 0 8  
Ronald Johnson 1 13 0 13  
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Terrance Dailey 9 30 0 9  
Ronnie Fouch 1 -9 0 0  
Willie Griffin 1 1 0 1  
D'Andre Goodwin 1 -5 0 0  
Brandon Johnson 18 54 0 16  
USC Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Patrick Turner 6 100 2 32
Ronald Johnson 4 25 0 9  
Rhett Ellison 2 33 0 21  
Stafon Johnson 2 21 0 12  
Damian Williams 2 9 0 6  
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
Charles Hawkins 1 3 0 3  
Michael Gottlieb 2 23 0 17  
Jermaine Kearse 2 20 0 16  
Alvin Logan 1 13 0 13  
D'Andre Goodwin 5 35 0 21  
Devin Aguilar 1 7 0 7  
Willie Griffin 1 4 0 4  
Kavario Middleton 1 8 0 8  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Greg Woidneck 1 50 50 50.0
Jared Ballman 6 233 49 38.8  
Attendance: 80,216          

Richard Linde, aka Malamute can be reached at malamute@4malamute.com

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