I'm about to leave the press box, but first wanted to add some notes that should give a general overview of the game.
The big issue, of course, was the clock dispute at the end of the game, which denied UW a chance at a final play to win. The officials (quote below) say they held the clock to make sure the right amount of time was left, and then started it as they usually do, and UW failed to snap on time. UW center Juan Garcia said the referee actually handled the last snap differently, not telling Garcia when he was going to put the ball in play as he apparently had been all game.
Naturally, the Huskies weren't happy.
But USC coach Pete Carroll wasn't either. Here's his quote: The last play was a mess. I wanted them to start the 24-second clock, but for some reason the refs refused. It was almost like a timeout for them. The clock was mishandled. They should move the sticks and immediately start the clock."
And here's some of what referee Brian O'Cain had to say: "The first thing that is going to happen is that the clock is going to stop until we get the chains reset and the officials in position to officiate. I wanted to make sure the officials had seen the clock when the play became dead and were comfortable with the time remaining on the clock, which was confirmed to be two seconds."
That issue, not surprisingly, will be the main focus of my game story in tomorrow's paper.
Player of the game: USC receiver Patrick Turner more than doubled his season numbers with a game-high 12receptions for 116 yards. Both numbers were career highs for Turner, who came into the game with nine catches for 53 yards. The 12 receptions were the most by a Trojan since Mike Williams caught 13 in 2002 at Oregon.
Husky of the game: Defensive back Dashon Goldson led UW with 10 tackles, including nine solo and one for loss. He also broke up three passes.
Turning point: With just under seven minutes remaining, the Trojans went on a 14-play drive that took them from their own 20 to the Washington four, where they kicked a field goal that increased their lead to 26-20. Just as importantly, the drive took five minutes and 21 seconds – an amount of time the Huskies ultimately couldn't afford.
Best play: On the first play of the second half, UW offensive coordinator Tim Lappano sent receiver Marlon Wood on an end-around, which resulted in a 46-yard gain to the SC six, where he was surprisingly shoved out of bounds. "After I passed the last safety, ¬ after I made that last move, I just saw the red in the end zone and that was all," Wood said.
Special SC play: Facing a fourth and nine at the UW 20, the Trojans lined up in field goal formation. However, holder Michael McDonald rose and threw to a wide-open Steve Smith on the sideline, who stepped untouched into the end zone and an early 7-0 lead. UW coaches briefly contested whether Smith had been illegally substituted onto the field, but they eventually seemed content to credit the Trojans with a good play. McDonald has thrown two passes in his USC career – both for touchdowns.
Special UW play: Washington opened the second half with an on-side kick, which Corey Williams recovered. "I was happy he called it because we needed a huge momentum swing," Williams said. "It definitely worked." On the next play, offensive coordinator Tim Lappano followed-up by sending Wood on the end-around.
Injury report: UW safety Jason Wells suffered a concussion. Coach Tyrone Willingham said safety Dashon Goldson also suffered a concussion, although Goldson appeared to have a leg injury. Quarterback Isaiah Stanback suffered what was reported to be a hip-pointer, although he was reluctant to discuss the injury afterward. … UW tight Robert Lewis returned to action for the first time since the opener. USC wide receiver Dwayne Jarrett played in the first half, but he spent the second half in street clothes with ice on his previously injured shoulder.
Extra points: Washington quarterback Isaiah Stanback's two TD passes matched the total USC had allowed over its first four games. … UW snapper Danny Morovick continues to send punt snaps high and wide. However, the Huskies agreed that the punt USC blocked was due to miscommunication when UW apparently audibled out of a planned fake. … UW tackle Eric Berglund started in place of Ben Ossai, who missed the first two series, apparently as a disciplinary matter. …In the third quarter, USC extended its NCAA record streak of 57 consecutive games scoring 20 points or more. The Trojans also extended winning streaks of 29 home games, 26 Pac-10 games, 19 Pac-10 home games and 17 October games. … Michael Braunstein's 25-yard field goal recorded the first points USC has allowed in the third quarter this season. … UW recorded no sacks for the first time this season… … The crowd of 90,282 represented the 11th straight USC sellout, home and road. … John David Booty's 51-yard completion to Steve Smith was the longest of the USC quarterback's career. … Washington game captains were Isaiah Stanback, Dashon Goldson, Dan Howell and Greyson Gunheim.
Next: 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Oregon State, Husky Stadium, FSN.
Meanwhile, thanks for your comments. Please keep them coming, and I'll respond either tonight or tomorrow.