It's Washington Weekend in L.A.! Here's what to watch for as the Trojans welcome Washington and the Bruins host Washington State.
1. Will Stanley Havili get sweet revenge?
Last week we wondered when the cellophane was coming off, and Havili responded in a big way. This week, however, we're looking back, not ahead -- to one year ago when he cost the Trojans this game.
‘SC was driving for a score. Had they scored it would changed the complexion of the game. It would have put more pressure on Jake Locker to get into the endzone and not just drive the Huskies down for a game winning field goal. While the offense sputtered for a good portion of the game committing two other turnovers, it looked like things were coming together on that drive. The defense did a decent job of holding UW to just 13 points before they kicked the field goal.
It all came down to that fumble.
And Havili hasn't forgotten it either...
For all their strengths, the Huskies currently sit 110th nationally in rushing defense; Havili should be able to undo quite a bit of bad this Saturday.
That brings me to Coach Rick Neuheisel who remains non committal in terms of who is going to get the start at QB. Neuheisel corroborated Gold's report of a "pretty crisp" practice and called Brehaut's Thursday performance as "terrific". He actually said the practice was even "more crisp" on Thursday than last week but maintained that he hasn't reached any decision wrt to starter for Saturday.
3. How's that victory hangover, Bruins?
UCLA's recent history following epic wins isn't pretty:
2009: 3-0 Start, L @ Stanford
2008: "Signature" Win vs. Tennessee, L 59-0 @ BYU
2007: 2-0 Start, ranked 11th in the Country, L 44-6 @ Utah
2006: 2-0 Start, L @ Washington; W 13-9 vs. USC, L in Emerald Bowl
2005: 8-0 Start, L 52-14 @ Arizona
Will 2010 snap the streak?
4. How much have Carroll's boys retained?
Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin, you might have heard, will meet in the Coliseum for the first time as head coaches in Week 5. Just how many of their old tricks have they retained? Who will better utilize their shared history against his opponent?
5. Is this even the real test for the Trojans?
Heading into 2010, UW was a trendy darkhorse pick for the title. They got off to a disappointing start against a barely-there BYU team, and Jake Locker looked dreadful against Nebraska. Thanks to recent history in this rivalry, it's not likely the Trojans will be looking ahead to Stanford and Oregon and Arizona, neatly spaced out over the next six weeks. But should they be?