Notes, quotes and video from USC's 32-31 loss to Washington at the Coliseum:
Saturday's game was eerily similar to last year's USC-Washington game, when the host Huskies used a final-seconds field goal from Erik Folk to topple the Trojans, 16-13 -- and don't think Washington didn't notice. "It's really important," Folk said after the game of having the experience of last year's game. "I think it was really good for the confidence of our offense on the last drive, knowing that they could drive down the field against these guys. And they did exactly that."
Loss aside, the biggest bright spot for the Trojans was clearly the performance of Allen Bradford, who had by far the best game of his career in carrying the ball 21 times for 223 yards and two touchdowns. Bradford's previous career highs were 15 carries for 147 yards against Oregon State last year, but the redshirt senior was at his best Saturday from the start. His first carry of the game was a 37-yard touchdown rumble on which he may not have even been touched, and he averaged more than 10 yards a carry for the game.
As a whole, the Trojans' running attack was superb. USC broke out the Wildcat for the first time this season after a lot of work on it during the week of practice leading up to the game. But the player who seems most well-equipped to operate out of it -- freshman Dillon Baxter -- only carried the ball once the entire game, while Tyler received several direct-snap handoffs on his way to running 14 times for 60 yards. No passes were thrown out of the formation.
Only five players caught passes for USC, with Robert Woods being shut out. In fact, he was hardly targeted. Barkley completed 70 percent of his passes on the day (14-of-20) but overthrew two key attempts, one to David Ausberry in the end zone and one to Jordan Cameron on USC's last drive of the game. Receiver Brice Butler also appeared to drop a deep ball from Barkley in the first half that would have been good for 40 or 50 yards.
Washington quarterback Jake Locker, on what he told his teammates in the huddle on the crucial fourth-and-11 on their own 23-yard line he converted to D'Andre Goodwin: "I said, 'Hey, I love you guys. We've got one more down to continue this drive and get ourselves a chance to win this game.' There wasn't one guy in the huddle who thought we couldn't do it. Looking in every guys' eyes, there was confidence in each and every guy -- and I'm convinced that that's why we were able to win."
USC's defense simply could not stop Locker, who threw for 309 yards and a touchdown and ran for 110 more. His only mistake came on Washington's first drive of the second half, when he broke off a big run down the left sideline but had the ball smartly poked away out of his left hand by Shareece Wright. After a review, it was ruled that the ball went out of bounds after going into the endzone, giving USC the ball at its own 20 and essentially taking away a touchdown from the Huskies. Still, Washington gained 536 yards and looked like the better team on the field. "It was really bad, actually," linebacker Michael Morgan said of the defensive performance. "We didn''t execute the way we were supposed to, and we lost the game.
A sharp contrast was evident between the two kickers -- Folk and USC's Joe Houston. Folk converted all four of his field goal attempts; Houston made just one of two and hit a 40-yard attempt off the right upright with two-plus minutes to go that would've made the final drive a lot harder for the Huskies. The two kickers, both proteges of famed Chris Sailer Kicking, are good friends, and Folk said that he was disappointed when Houston's kick missed -- despite the fact that it made it easier for his team to win.
Tackling was once again an issue for the Trojans, but the team will still stay away from doing so in practice because of depth concerns. "Think about it," cornerback Shareece Wright said. "If we go live every day at practice, we'll be killing each other. It's not worth it."
USC coach Lane Kiffin spoke to the media after the game and was clearly displeased with the loss and his team's performance.
See what he said about Locker, the Trojans' tackling and plenty of more topics, including Bradford's 200-yard day:
Houston spoke to the media after the game in an emotional session in which he took full responsibility for missing the 40-yarder near the end of the game.
"I feel terrible," he said.
See what else he had to say: