After their 13-point loss to UCLA last week, the Huskies have opened 21-point underdogs to No. 1 USC this week.
Here's my weekly state-of-the-Dawgs chart:
Washington (2-2 overall, 0-1 Pacific-10 Conference) made its sixth straight losing trip to UCLA (3-1, 2-0), falling to the Bruins, 44-31. The Huskies defense was gouged for 537 total yards, and UCLA created big scoring plays including an 85-yard kickoff return, a 72-yard run and a 60-yard interception return.
SOMETHING TO BUILD ON
The Huskies responded with some big plays of their own, scoring on 63- and 20-yard passes from Jake Locker to Anthony Russo. Several times when the Bruins seemed on the verge of putting the game away, UW answered with a score that pulled them close again. Locker was effective on the ground, rushing for 92 yards.
SOMETHING TO WORK ON
The Huskies couldn't stop the UCLA running game, and they were one again unable to mount one of their own, aside from Locker. UW gave up huge plays on first down, giving UCLA a wide range of options on following downs. The Huskies repeatedly let the Bruins out of bad field position early.
Matt Mosley started for the first time at cornerback, ahead of Vonzell McDowell Jr. Then Mosley gave way to Byron Davenport, who seemed a significant upgrade despite missing much practice with a hamstring injury. TB Louis Rankin was ineffective again, but the coaches seem unwilling to try anyone else.
THE WEEK AHEAD
The Dawgs face what is likely their toughest test of a tough schedule as No. 1-ranked Southern California (3-0, 1-0) visits Husky Stadium. Despite the loss, the Huskies stressed they believe they are up to such a challenge. UW will wear throwback uniforms to honor the 1960 team's claim to a share of the national championship.