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Streakless in Seattle
Trojans kick whimpy Dawgs
By Richard Linde, Posted 24 October 2004

On a warm, sunny day in Los Angeles, the USC Trojans (7-0) beat the Washington Huskies 38-0, ending the Huskies' 27-years of consecutive non-losing seasons and their 271-game scoring streak (the nation's longest), sending them packing, to leave them Streakless in Seattle.

In 1981, UCLA beat Washington in the Coliseum, 31-0, which is the last time the Huskies were held scoreless. I watched that game as an amateur photographer and got some great visual and sound images of a few querulous Dawgs implanted in my grey matter. The Huskies went on to beat Iowa 28-0 in the Rose Bowl, another game I attended. But I won't be going to the Rose Bowl, or any bowl, this season.

For the second week in a row, time of possession told the story: the Huskies holding the ball just 20:51 against the Trojans and 25:04 the week before against OSU, which collectively is almost a quarter short of a full game. The Trojans' defense held the Huskies' offense to 50 yards rushing, 63 yards passing, 6 first downs, 0-14 on third down conversions, and a whole bunch of three-and-outs. Two long field goal attempts by Michael Braunstein (46 and 47 yards) were the only scoring opportunities the Huskies had. 

"We're getting it going on defense. We've gotten way better in the last few weeks," Trojan coach Pete Carroll opined, in an understatement of the obvious. The Trojans built a moat around their redzone, and the Huskies failed to cross the drawbridge.

The Huskies' defense held the Trojans scoreless for the first 18 minutes of play. But this is a team that gave up 5 touchdowns and 371 yards rushing to UCLA's Maurice Drew a month ago. One would reason that the Trojans came out flat because of their last three consecutive games against Stanford, California and Arizona State, all of whom rest in the upper tier of the conference. USC (4-0 in conference play) deserved their 18-minute break.

Okay, I'll throw the Dawgs a bone. Senior defensive tackle Manase Hopoi  tied a school record with six tackles for a loss, three coming on sacks. Considering the opposition, going against the number one team in the country, the Huskies played their best defense of the season in the opening half, flatness notwithstanding.

The Dawgs had a chance to score first when C. J. Wallace intercepted a Matt Leinart pass on the USC 40 and returned it to the 33. The Trojans' defense came to the fore, giving ground grudgingly, forcing the Huskies to try a 46-yard field goal, which was wide to the left.

A Washington turnover gave USC a scoring opportunity in the second quarter. QB Isaiah Stanback fumbled the ball on his own 18 and Lofa Tatupu ran it back to the 6. With a third and goal on the 3, Leinart faded back to pass and was dropped by Hopoi on the 11. On fourth down, Ryan Killeen connected on a 29-yard field goal to give the Trojans a 3-0 lead.

USC scored its first touchdown of the game, with 6:35 left in the second quarter, when Leinart connected with Reggie Bush on a 29-yard touchdown pass. Killeen's kick made the score 10-0.

On Washington's first possession in the third quarter, Kenny James fumbled the ball on the UW 20 and it was recovered by Frosty Rucker on the 18. LenDale White ran the ball in from the three, completing a 4-play drive. Killeen's kick made the score 17-0.

Leading 31-0, with a quality of mercy in mind, Pete Carroll went with his reserves in the fourth quarter. The scoring was capped by fourth-string tailback Desmond Reed who ran in the ball in from 29 yards out, culminated by a three yard dive into the end zone.

Quarterbacks Leinart and Matt Cassel threw to 13 different receivers, a number that is an embodiment of the West Coast Offense that offensive coordinator Norm Chow has so successfully implemented. Two years ago, then UW offensive coordinator Keith Gilbertson worked his implementation of the WCO almost to perfection; however, it lacked a decent running attack.

In contrast, the two UW quarterbacks, Isaiah Stanback and Casey Paus, completed passes to just five receivers, completing seven passes among them. Stanback, in particular, was bothered by the strong rush of the Trojans' front four and made some poor decisions on option plays. Stanback, who started the game, was replaced by Paus in the third quarter.

As a team, Washington is last in the conference in pass-efficiency, with a horrible 78.0 rating. One hundred is considered average; California leads the conference with a remarkable 185.1 rating.

After Kenny James' critical fumble, Shelton Sampson replaced him at tailback. Although James is a gifted runner, he needs to hold onto the ball a bit better. It's not the first time he's fumbled this season, and the coaches are well aware of that fact.

"They kept trying the same plays and they kept getting frustrated," USC's defensive end Frostee Rucker was quoted as saying. 

"We're just struggling on offense," UW coach Keith Gilbertson said. "We don't have a way to make a play. We couldn't get the ball to our receivers. We couldn't get a running play. We're out of answers."

At the end of the season, if things should worsen more, the Huskies may be searching for someone who has the answers. The Huskies are 1-6 on the season.

(this article is in the process of being written).

Team 1 2 3 4 Tot
UW 0 0 0 0 0
USC 0 10 21 7 38


Time Team How Player(s) Score
2nd quarter        
12:00 USC FG Ryan Killeen 27-yard kick. Four plays -7 yards. USC 3-0
6:35 USC TD Matt Leinart pass to Reggie Bush, 15 yards. 8 plays, 83 yards. Killeen kick. USC 10-0
3rd quarter        
13:42 USC TD Lendale White 3-yard run. Killeen kick. 4 plays, 18 yards USC 17-0
11:29 USC TD Leinart 29-yard pass to Jason Mitchell. Killeen kick. 4 plays, 52 yards. USC 24-0
1:55 USC TD White 2-yard run. Killeen kick. 12 plays, 62 yards. USC 31-0
4th quarter        
2:20 USC TD Desmond Reed 28-yard run. Killeen kick. 8 plays, 88 yards USC 38-0


Statistic UW USC
Total First Downs 6 28
  Rushing 3 9
  Passing 2 17
  Penalty 1 2
Total Net Yards 113 453
Net Yards Passing 63 256
Net Yards Rushing 50 197
Completions-att-int 28-7-1 48-28-1
Punts Average 10-429-42.9 3-145-48.3
Times sacked (yards) 3-12 1-6
Return Yardage    
  Punts Yards 1-0 2-12
  Kickoff Yards 1-12  
  Interceptions Yards 1-7 1-22
Penalties Yards 9-60 5-30
Fumbles, Lost 1-0 2-12
Time of Possession  20:51 39:09

Passing cmp att yds tds int
USC          
Matt Leinart 24 43 217 2 1
Matt Cassel 4 5 39 0 0
           
Washington          
Casey Paus 4 12 38 0 1
Isaiah Stanback 3 16 27 0 0
           
Rushing          
USC          
LenDale White 17 93 2 22  
Reggie Bush 13 55 0 15  
Hershel Dennis 4 12 0 9  
Matt Leinart 3 -12 0 0  
Matt Cassel 3 12 0 8  
           
           
Washington Rushing att yds tds long
Shelton Sampson 11 37 0 11  
Kenny James 7 18 0 18  
Isaiah Stanback 9 -5 0 8  
           
Pass Receiving rec yds tds long
USC        
Reggie Bush 6 41 1    
Dwayne Jarrett  5 31 0    
Dominique Byrd 5 57 0    
Chris McFoy 2 26 0    
LenDale White 2 18 0    
Jason Mitchell 1 29 1    
John Walker 1 22 0    
Jody Adewale  1 16 0    
Alex Holmes 1 -3 0    
David Kirtman 1 9 0    
Fred Davis 1 9 0    
William Buchanon 1 -1 0    
Desmond Reed 1 2 0    
           
Washington Pass Rec. rec yds tds long
Robert Lewis 1 8 0 8  
Joe Toledo 2 16 0 9  
Jon Lyon 1 7 0 7  
Bobby Withorne 2 22 0 11  
Anthony Russo 1 10 0 10  
           
Punting punts yds long Avg
USC
Tom Malone 3 145 54 48.3  
           
Washington          
Sean Douglas 10 429 56 42.9  
           
Attendance: 72,855          

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