It was not meant to be. The Huskies are now 2-2 in the last four years against the Trojans of USC. The game was close, but mental errors were once again the bane of the Dawgs. My instant reactions will be in the form of bullet holes. (Thank you Jeff Sullivan)
- Keith Price played maybe his best passing game of the season. Not to say he played great, but he surpassed my expectations. He made some good throws down the field. Again, he didn't pass perfectly but had himself a decent game and improved as the game went along. Mostly he did better when the throws were made to Austin Seferian-Jenkins. I am in the camp that believes his last interception was an attempt to Cody Bruns that Seferian-Jenkins made an unsuccessful leaping attempt to grab. Keith: hold on to the darn football! Defenders don't fall for your pitch-fakes anymore considering that you have run all of one true option this season. Also, on the first interception, there was no way that Price could have seen the middle linebacker on that play. He should have known that he was lurking over the middle, but still could not have seen him over his offensive linemen.
- Seferian-Jenkins did not have the explosiveness tonight that he uses to get open over the middle and down the field. This can be attributed to his gimpy ankle. I have to believe that part of the reason he was so effective in the second half was because the defense stopped keying on him once they made the halftime adjustments based on his gimpy ankle. There is one problem with this however: he is big. Size doesn't get injured. Unless somebody had to get their leg amputated. If someone had to get their leg amputated they would weigh less and therefore be smaller, technically.
- Kasen Williams struggled to get open. Monte Kiffin's defense rotated coverage to help on top of Williams in addition to having one of the top-two corners in the PAC-12 (along with Desmond Trufant) shadowing him: Nickell Robey. There is no question that, aside from his touchdown throw in the first quarter, he was blanketed.
- Shotgun runs? The offense was run mostly out of shotgun for the entirety of the game. When Bishop Sankey has had success running the football is has been out of single-back, multiple tight-end sets. I understand Steve Sarkisian was trying to set up something with his motioning of Jaydon Mickens across the formation on nearly every play, but it got to the point where Sankey could not get a head of steam.
- Defensively, the game ball would have to go to Danny Shelton. The big boy inside had his best game of the season, as he pushed the pocket into Matt Barkley, helping to disrupt his vision. He had numerous tackles in the backfield of Silas Redd and Curtis McNeal. Shelton went up against a very good center in Khaled Holmes and won.
- Considering this is an instant reaction piece I will name a few more players who had a big impact and how: Marcus Peters (interception, fiery play throughout), Trufant (strong coverage of Marquis Lee and Robert Woods, whoever he was aligned against), Josh Banks (penetration and pass rush) and Travis Feeney (making plays all over the place).