clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Stuff and Shenanigans: SoCal’s Revenge

New, 10 comments

In which USC gets payback for 2015.

NCAA Football: Southern California at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Pardon my superstions, but that’s why you don’t mess with the classic Husky uniform combos.

A 100% Accurate and 23% Sober History of Absolutely Everything

Ow.

I mean, we knew how hecking difficult it is to go a full season without losing. I seem to recall a certain UWDP writer who has used that in the past as his justification for predicting a Washington loss. There are plenty of times in Husky history that leave one in awe of human spirit in troubled times — oh hey there, Hitler, meet Joe Rantz. Saturday was not one of those days.

What it was instead was a reminder of how much an advantage big-name schools have when it comes to turning the ship around. Sure, it takes a solid coach to consistently maintain a championship-level team but, if the school sells itself to top talent like USC does... Well we saw what happens...

Plain and simple: It’s easier to attract top athletes when you’re USC (or Ohio State or Alabama or, let’s be real, Texas, who has no excuse for being this down for this long). And it’s easier to win games when you have top athletes, duh. Cornerbacks running a -2.6 second 40 yard dash and O linemen who bench press >3,000 pounds? That’s like using the infinite ammo cheat code on Halo.

Now. Before you all accuse me of sucking up to SoCal, I am not saying that I would in a million years trade this Washington team for them. Or any team, really.

Still, it’s impossible to deny — especially at the skill positions — that the Trojans recruit stupidly well. Washington does way more with less composite star-rankings but sometimes that’s just not enough. Like Saturday.

USC’s penchant in the secondary and receiving corps was apparent and I had no fun whatsoever watching that truth unfold.

They were a perfect combination of UW’s weaknesses: strong enough offensive line, a slippery quarterback, a smart quarterback, a quarterback who can fire bullets. Okay, so really it mainly came down to those.

It makes me sad to admit this because I was so rooting for Max Browne to win the job and kill it at USC and rep the Northwest like there’s no tomorrow, but Sam Darnold is a baller. Certainly it helps that Washington had a pass rush about as successful as the German invasion of Russia (or any invasion of Russia, now that I think about it), but I can’t in good conscience take credit away from him. Darnold proved he’s the rare combination of athletic, smart, and accurate — regardless of whether he was in the pocket or on the run. If I had to place bets on “Pac 12 QBs who are gonna kill it the next few years,” Darnold and — and I hate myself for this — Justin Herbert are the newbies that stand out on that list.

The most frustrating thing in this game for me anyway was the amount of times the Huskies got USC to third down and then threw it away. I haven’t looked at the stats for USC’s third down conversion percentage but, while watching, it was brutal.

Conversely, Washington’s corresponding offensive third down plays seemed doomed all night. Raise your hand if your soul was crushed by the amount of 3rd and 2s, 3s, 4s, 5s, that the Dawgs couldn’t convert. Yeah, me too.

Lastly, Mr. Gekko himself brought up how Everybody’s Favorite Bolt-Action Rifle has looked a bit off — a bit, mind you — the last couple weeks. I’m less concerned than he is but I agree it’s worth noting. Granted, in the same way that it’s insanely difficult to go undefeated on the season, it’s also insanely difficult to maintain a 70%+ completion percentage in a non-air raid offense, among other things, as Browning did for most of the season. No doubt he did not have a good game Saturday but his primary skill-set has still been consistent and intact. I’m not too worried.

And whatever’s going through Jake’s mind in this picture I don’t know, but I would not wanna play an angry Jake Browning. Lookin’ at you, ASU.

Oh, and get well soon, Azeem!

CoopWatch

Bye week! No San Jose State game = No Coop.

Line of the Week

Archaeologists have unearthed the following:

This is an accurate historical document, trust me.
Ghost of Steve Sarkisian
ASU’s totally not forged response to USC pissing off the Huskies.
Todd Graham’s crew cut.

On that note — and I emphasize this more than ever this week —

Do good things, don’t do bad things, and bow down to Washington.