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A signature drive by Jake; a signature win for Sark
"The difference was Jake," says Carroll
Malamute, 20 September 2009

Finishing off a 10-play, 63-yard drive led by Jake Locker, Erik Folk kicked a 22-yard field goal to give Washington (2-1, 1-0) a 16-13 victory over third-ranked USC (2-1, 0-1) in front of 61,889 fans at Husky Stadium.

It was a signature drive by Jake -- signed, sealed and delivered -- and a signature win for coach Steve Sarkisian, who beat his former mentor and boss Pete Carroll.

Sarkisian spent seven years working for Carroll as an assistant coach at USC, spending the last three as the offensive coordinator. On Saturday, the young protégé showed his mentor what he'd learned from him, his A, B, C, and D's, with "D" standing for drive. Looking at it from Carroll's perspective and the rest of the conference's, Carroll's protégé, Sark, has created a monster, namely Jake Locker.

The "D," as guided by Locker, began with 4:02 left on the clock and the score knotted at 13 apiece. With a third-and-15 at the Washington 28 and 3:03 left, the odds looked bad for the Huskies as they were faced with giving the ball back to the Trojans' explosive offense and their vaunted offensive line. But Locker hit Jermaine Kearse in traffic with a 21-yard bullet over the middle that gave the Dawgs a first down on their own 49.

Then it was third and two on the Trojans 43. Sprinting to his right, looking to pass or run, Locker carried the ball to the 39 and another critical first down.

On a second and six at the Trojans 34, a scrambling Locker hit Kearse on a 19-yard sideline pass that took the ball to the Trojans 16, which went to the 8 because of a roughing-the-passer penalty. Out of East Valley Redlands, Chris Polk ran to the 4, and with just 7 seconds left on the clock, Folk kicked his 22-yard field goal to win the game.

The Trojans fumbled four times, losing the ball twice, and QB Aaron Corp threw one pick, which was intercepted by Donald Butler after USC had reached the Huskies 22-yard line in the third quarter.

In the first quarter, USC seemingly ran the ball at will, opening up enormous holes in the Huskies' defensive line. The Trojans rolled up 223 yards of offense in the first half, but managed only 137 yards in the second half. Taking a 10-0 lead in the first quarter, Troy garnered 111 yards rushing the first two times it had the ball.

"They could have cashed it in and said, 'We can't stop them, we can't stop their run,' " Sarkisian was quoted as saying. "But we kept battling, we kept competing."

Limiting the run in the last three quarters, the Huskies forced Corp to beat them with his arm.

The three USC turnovers and Corp's inefficient passing were the keys to the outcome.

Filling in for the ailing Matt Barkley, Corp completed 13 of 22 passes for 110 yards, with the one critical pick. He posted a woeful passing-efficiency rating of 92 against a pass efficiency defense (a 150.27 rating) that ranked 101st in FBS football going into the game.

On the other hand, Locker completed 21 of 35 passes for 237 yards and a pass efficiency rating of 116.88, which exceeded the bogey we had set for him in our article published earlier this week. USC had a PED of 87.8 going into the game and has a formidable defensive front four led by DE Everson Griffen, a likely first-round draft choice. 

In that vein, USC sacked Locker four times, holding him to minus 15 yards rushing. The Huskies netted just 56 yards on the ground compared to USC's 250. However, in the first quarter, Locker took it up the gut, 4 yards, to score UW's only touchdown of the game.

The fact the Huskies controlled the ball on offense gave their defense time to rest, something that's not happened over the last few years. Locker completed 60% of his passes, and the Dawgs won time of possession, 34:11 to 25:49. The Huskies made 7 out of 15 third down conversions, while Troy went 0 for 10.

Jake played error-free ball and led the Huskies' final drive, which will go down in the lore of Husky finishing drives as one of their greatest ever.

Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times quotes Sark as saying this about Locker. "He's played marvelously for us these first three games. Hopefully for us we have more moments like that, but he doesn't need that drive to say that he's a good quarterback or not. He's a tremendous leader. He's a great quarterback. He just executed that final drive."

"The difference was Jake," said Carroll. "That's a great player."

Team 1 2 3 4 Total
USC 10 0 0 3 13
UW 7 3 0 6 16

Time Team How Player (s) Score
1st qtr        
12:28 USC TD Joe McKnight 7-yard run; Jordan Congdon kick. USC, 7-0
4:36 USC FG Congdon 42-yard boot. USC, 10-0
0:11 UW TD Jake Locker 4-yard run; Erik Folk kick. USC, 10-7
2nd Qtr
4:09 UW FG Folk 28-yard boot. Tie, 10-10
4th Qtr
9:53 UW FG Folk 46-yard kick. UW, 13-10
4:07 USC FG Congdon 25-yarder. Tie, 13-13
0:03 UW FG Folk 22-yard kick. UW, 16-13


Statistic USC UW
Total First Downs 16 20
  Rushing 10 5
  Passing 3 13
  Penalty 3 2
Total Net Yards 360 293
Net Yards Passing 110 237
Net Yards Rushing 250 56
Completions-att-int 13-22-1 21-35-0
Punts, yards, average 4-164, 41.0 7-266, 38.0
Sacks by (number, yards) 4-33 0-0
Kickoff Returns: number, yds, tds 4-73-0 4-96-0
Punt returns: number, yds, tds 3-42-0 0-0-0
Kickoff Yards 4-258 5-323
Net Yards per kickoff 40.5 46.0
Average yards per kickoff 64.5 64.6
Touchbacks (kickoffs) 0 1
Third-down conversions 0-10 7-15
Interception returns: no., yds, tds 0-0-0 1-5-0
Penalties, no., Yards 8-75 10-69
Fumbles: number/lost 4-2 1-0
Time of Possession  25:49 34:11

Passing cmp att yds tds int
Aaron Corp (92.0) 13 22 110 0 1
Jake Locker (116.88) 21 35 237 0 0
Trojans Rushing No. Yds TDs Long  
Joe McKnight 11 100 1 34  
Stafon Johnson 10 64 0 27  
Stanley Havili 6 59 0 38  
Allen Bradford 4 18 0 11  
Aaron Corp 2 9 0 5  
Washington Rushing No. yds tds long
Chris Polk 25 71 0 13  
Jake Locker 8 -15 1 6  
USC Pass Receiving No. yds tds long
Stanley Havili 4 36 0 27
Damiam Williams 3 40 0 17  
Joe McKnight 3 6 0 14  
Brice Butler 1 11 0 11  
Anthony McCoy 1 11 0 11  
David Ausberry 1 6 0 6  
Washington Pass Rec. No. yds tds long
James Johnson 7 72 0 16  
Kavario Middleton 2 16 0 11  
Devin Aguilar 2 17 0 14  
Johri Fogerson 1 18 0 18  
Chris Polk 3 22 0 11  
D'Andre Goodwin 1 11 0 11  
Jermaine Kearse 3 70 0 30  
Paul Homer 1 12 0 12  
Ben Ossai 1 -1 0 0  
Punting punts yds long Avg
Billy O'Malley 4 164 41.0 53
Will Mahan 7 266 38.0 52  
Attendance: 61,889          

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

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