Huskies Insider Blog

Wrapping up the Huskies' 40-17 loss to USC

Sorry for no early morning blog post. I had an 8 a.m. flight out of L.A. that connected in Reno (long story). And since both planes were turbo props, I had no wireless. I'm here at Alaska Airlines Arena getting ready for the hoop game.

But let's talk football.  It wasn't a fun game yesterday for all involved. No facet of the Huskies - offense, defense or special teams - played well.

Here's my game story from today's News Tribune

The only thing to remember is that Washington hasn’t performed well enough to be considered in the upper echelon of Pacific-12 Conference teams.

They were served a harsh reminder of that Saturday at the L.A. Coliseum, suffering through a 40-17 dismantling by the 18th-ranked Trojans – the fourth time this season the Huskies were manhandled by a team ranked in the Top 25.

“Look at our record, we haven’t won those games,” UW tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins said. “We have to start winning those games and then we can talk about (being a top Pac-12 team).”

But it’s not only about being beaten by ranked teams, it’s also how the Huskies have lost to likes of then-No. 11 Nebraska (51-38), then-No. 7 Stanford (65-21), then-No. 6 Oregon (34-17) and now USC that is disconcerting.Here's another story I wrote on the physical beating that Keith Price suffered in the game. He suffered injuries to both knees. Sark doesn't think they are serious. And Price said he was playing Saturday.

The sophomore quarterback had wraps on both his knees and his trademark smile was missing.

The offense managed a season-low 244 yards of total offense and ran just one play inside the Trojans’ 20-yard line.

“We just aren’t executing for some reason,” Price said. “I’m not sure what’s going on. We have to get it fixed.”

Part of what’s going on is Washington’s offensive line isn’t protecting the quarterback, and opening holes for running back Chris Polk.

Price was sacked four times. He injured his right knee while getting sacked for a safety in the second quarter. He hurt his left knee after being crunched by three defenders in the third quarter. That deluge of tacklers knocked him out of the game . He finished 12-for-16 passing for 125 yards, and was held without a touchdown pass for the first time this season.

“They didn’t let me back in,” Price said. “I wanted to get back in and I was ready to get back in. But they thought it was best for me to stay out.”Here's the notebook which talks about the breakdowns on special teams, the porous offensive line play and the overturned catch by Austin Seferian-Jenkins.

Punter Kyle Negrete faked as if he was going to punt the ball, then took off up the middle.

“We watched a lot of film and saw a look that would allow us that fake,” Negrete said. “We called it and executed it perfectly. I haven’t seen green grass like that since I was in high school.”

Negrete gained 35 yards on the play, and he wasn’t touched by a UW player for the first 33 yards of it. As if it wasn’t bad enough, Negrete plowed over Anthony Gobern as he made the tackle.

“The coaches told me to slide, and I told them, ‘No way,’ ” Negrete said.

It changed the momentum. Instead of being down 7-3 with the ball, Washington was down 14-3.

“The guys responsible for the fake didn’t see it,” Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian said. 

From the Los Angeles area ..

Here's Gary Klein's game story from the LA Times. Columnist Bill Plaschke has this column on Negrete, who is a walk-on and works part time as a waiter to pay for school. Wide receiver Marqise Lee was the "best player on the field," according to Lane Kiffin.

Here's Scott Wolf's game story from the Daily News. Here's Wolf's notebook. Columnist Vincent Bonsignore writes that the Trojans are out to settle old scores from last year.

From ESPN LA here's three keys to the Trojans' win. Here's the story behind the fake punt with some video of Negrete talking about it.