Breakthrough victor - Before any of the specifics of the game, it needs to be said that the overall "good" of this game was the fact that it was a potential breakthrough game for Petersen and this program. Like Sark's first win against USC, this could be seen as the game when the tide started to turn in the right direction for the new regime.
Entire defense - A flat out near lights out performance for the Husky defense. They shut down the USC passing game in a way I didn't really think was possible.
Coaching staff - This was by far the best game the staff has put together. Even for those that have hated Jonathan Smith and the offensive game plan, you have to give him credit for getting the running game going against an upper-Pac-12 team and for dialing up some big plays downfield that Browning simply missed.
I have a feeling Petersen wanted to prove a point here against USC due to rumors that he was passed up for the job and to Sarkisian to show that this is his team.
The linebackers -I don't have time to call out Azeem Victor, Travis Feeney and Keishawn Bierria one at a time, but they all played incredibly, particularly Feeney, who had the best game of his career. These three guys and Cory Littleton were as good as any Husky linebacker group has ever played and their physical presence turned the style of the game in the Huskies' favor.
Elijah Qualls - This guy is already filling the gigantic void left by Danny Shelton and is already a first-team All-Pac-12 level defensive tackle in my opinion. He took the game to the USC front and continued to be an unbelievable pass rusher for a defensive tackle.
DBs - The defensive backs also deserve a huge call out. They blanketed USC's dynamic receivers, took the game to them, made plays on the ball, forced three turnovers and even rushed the passer. Sidney Jones and Kevin King look like a scary lanky cornerback combo and Budda Baker back there makes a huge difference.
Third down defense - A game after a painful defensive performance on third down against Cal, the Huskies dominated on third down by getting after the quarterback and keeping him contained when they got there, stuffing the run at critical times and not committing many penalties.
Myles Gaskin - Gaskin had a breakout game against a major defense. His wiggle, patience and strength fueled him to a 100 plus yard game that may officially announce him as a future star.
Offensive line progress - The young Husky offensive line played their best game of the year in my opinion. They protected Browning pretty well and eventually started opening up some holes in the run game.
Azeem Victor call/suspension - The roughing call on Victor was questionable at best and the targeting call/ejection is effin inexcusable. The Pac-12 crew's horrific call played a massive role in getting USC back into the game and will likely play a role in Washington's game against Oregon with Victor out for the first. There needs to be a way for the Pac-12 to correct this.
Steve Sarkisian - I know a lot of people have hated Sark since he left, but at this point it is pretty clear he is an a dark place with a very large problem. Seeing him drift at mid-field by himself after the game with no one acknowledging him was one of the darkest images I have ever seen in Husky football.
Jake Browning misses - Don't like to be negative about a true freshman playing tough on the road, but Browning's struggles going downfield likely cost the Huskies a lot of points. They are going to have trouble winning more tough Pac-12 games if he keeps missing so many open receivers in the red zone.
Scoring offense - The offense made some strides in the run game, but they are going to have to find more ways to score, especially without having to rely on heavy trickery to score points. They cannot continue to have to rely on their defense to dominate opponents for the Huskies to win, especially in the Pac-12.
Cameron Van Winkle - Van Winkle's bizarre short field goal miss easily could have played a huge role in the game.
Victorless - How much will the absence of Azeem Victor hurt the Huskies in the first half against Oregon?
Run game and running back - Will the flash of consistent running success the Huskies showed against USC stick and will Myles Gaskin start to turn into the man at running back for the Huskies?
Expectations - The win over USC completely changes expectations for the 2015. What are the new goals for the Huskies as they finish out the season?
The Pac-12 - The Pac-12 is as crazy as I can ever remember. Other than a couple of teams, I feel like anyone could beat anyone every week and every team shows up as a different team each week.
Oregon - The Ducks look like a disaster and logic suggests the Huskies should finally beat them, but I just don't feel great about the game. The Ducks have their backs against the wall, still have some great players, could have Vernon Adams back and always seem to play one of their best games of the year against Washington. I also don't like the way the teams match-up. I am worried because I also feel like it will be a painful, painful let down if the Huskies lose this game.
I don't know... am I being crazy?