A slow start was something the No. 11 USC Trojans overcame last week against Utah, but Matt Barkley and company would be better off not trying the same type of comeback Saturday against a battle-tested Washington Huskies team in Seattle.
Lane Kiffin's squad took control after the Utes squandered an early 14-0 lead, and this week, USC faces a Huskies defense looking to recover after getting blasted by the No. 2 Oregon Ducks, 52-21, last week. At 3-2 on the year, UW's other loss came to then-No. 3 LSU in Week 2.
Barkley showed mental fortitude against Utah, and the Trojans will need him to be sharp against Steve Sarkisian's team that held the pro-style offense of Stanford -- the same Cardinal team USC fell to this year -- to 13 points just two weeks ago. Then again, Stanford doesn't have the likes of Marqise Lee (52 catches for 649 yards) or Robert Woods (31 catches for 272 yards).
Washington quarterback Keith Price vowed this week to find his swagger from last season, and the Trojans' defense that's giving up 19.4 points per game will be on high alert, hoping to keep Washington closer to its 22.8 points per game average rather than last year's team that scored 30 or more points in nine of 13 games.
Game time, TV channel: 4 p.m. PT, FOX
Point spread: USC opened as favorites by 13 points.