The No. 18 USC Trojans played perhaps their finest game of the season, dominating the Washington Huskies 40-17 in front of 64,756 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. It was the eighth win of the season for the Trojans, who have won two straight and outscored their last two opponents 82-34.
USC snapped a two-game losing streak to former assistant coach Steve Sarkisian, now the head coach of the Huskies. Erik Folk kicked game-winning field goals in each of their last two meetings as time expired, but on Saturday he was not needed.
The Trojans' defense was the story, as they limited Washington to 13 first downs and 244 total yards. USC had seven sacks on the day, including three by defensive end Nick Petty, who has a team-high eight sacks on the season. Washington quarterback Keith Price completed 12 of 16 passes for 125 yards, but took a beating as he was sacked four times, and left the game after injuring his left knee in the third quarter.
Tailback Curtis McNeal ran for a career-high 148 yards on just 18 carries for USC, the fifth straight game he has led the team in carries. He had a 79-yard breakaway run with 13:36 remaining in the third quarter to give the Trojans a 37-3 lead. McNeal has run for a team-high 639 yards this season, including 658 yards on 96 carries, an average of 6.85 yards per rush, over the last six games.
USC as a team rushed for a season-high 252 yards on 40 carries against Washington.
Freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee continued his outstanding debut campaign with nine catches for 74 yards and one receiving touchdown. He also took the opening kickoff of the second half 88 yards for a touchdown to give the Trojans a 30-3 lead just seconds into the third quarter. In his last three games, Lee has caught 25 passes for 292 yards and four touchdowns.
Left tackle Matt Kalil came out of the game in the third quarter with an apparent injury to his chest or shoulder area, but came back after receiving treatment on the sideline. Safety T.J. McDonald emerged from the locker room in sweats for the second half, missing the remainder of the game.
The Trojans have just two games remaining on their schedule. Next Saturday they travel to Eugene for a road battle against the Oregon Ducks, then close out their season on November 26 with a night game against the UCLA Bruins.
For more on the Trojans, head over to Conquest Chronicles.