College Football: Washington 16, No. 3 USC 13
Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 19, 2009
SEATTLE ó Southern California was leveled by another post-Ohio State funk, taken down by upstart Washington with a late drive that must have looked familiar to the Trojans.
Erik Folk kicked a 22-yard field goal with 3 seconds remaining and the Huskies’ fired-up defense stymied fill-in quarterback Aaron Corp and No. 3 USC in a 16-13 victory Saturday.
Trojans quarterback Matt Barkley, who directed an epic game-winning drive to beat the Buckeyes 18-15 in Columbus, Ohio, last week, could only watch the latest stunning upset loss by the Trojans from the sideline. The 19-year-old freshman was out with a sore shoulder.
It was Washington quarterback Jake Locker’s time to shine and the Huskies’ turn pull out a win that will stand among the most memorable in the once-proud program’s history.
USC (2-1, 0-1) was nearly a three-touchdown favorite against. Washington (2-1, 1-0) came in riding a 10-game losing streak in Pac-10 games and had broken a 15-game overall skid last week against Idaho.
But again the Trojans were toppled by a team that seemed to be no match for all their blue chip recruits and future NFL draft picks. USC has now lost to an unranked team each of the last four seasons.
Last season, it was Oregon State on the road the week after beating Ohio State, a loss that ultimately kept the Trojans from playing for the national title.
The year before that it was Stanford and the year before that it was UCLA when USC had a chance to play for the national title.
This time it was an old friend upsetting Pete Carroll’s squad. Washington coach Steve Sarkisian was Carroll’s offensive coordinator before taking over in Seattle this season, trying to rebuild a team that went winless last year.
“Our kids played very hard. I don’t know if we played very good, but we played hard,” Sarkisian said. “It’s unbelievable. It’s what we were hoping for. We’re trying hard.”
Corp, a sophomore making his first career start, was 13 for 22 for 110 yards with one interception. USC (2-1, 0-1) was held to its lowest point total since a 13-9 loss to UCLA on Dec. 2, 2006.
The Trojans were also without All-American safety Taylor Mays, who missed his first career game because of the right knee ligament he sprained against the Buckeyes.
Joe McKnight, who finished with 100 yards on 11 carries with a touchdown, took off on a 34-yard run ó and split end David Ausberry recovered his fumble at the end of the sprint ó to get USC to the Huskies 22 while down 13-10 with 6 minutes left. But Donald Butler, who was all over the field for Washington, stopped Stafon Johnson on third-and-6. That forced the Trojans to settle for a 25-yard field goal from Jordan Congdon that tied it at 13 with 4 minutes remaining.
The USC offensive players angrily yanked their chin straps for not taking the lead after that series.
Locker, once a much-hyped freshman much like Barkley, made the Trojans pay.
Washington faced a third-and-15 with 3:03 left, but Locker connected with Jermaine Kearse for 21 yards. Locker then rolled out for 4 yards to convert another third down to the USC 39 with a minute left.
Locker then avoided a rush, and fired 19 yards to Kearse, to the USC 16. Locker and Kearse shared a leaping chest bump, old Husky Stadium swayed, and a roughing-the-passer penalty put the Huskies at the 8 with 33 seconds left.
One running play later, Washington called time out with 7 seconds left to put Folk in position. The sophomore from Woodland Hills, Calif., nailed it down the middle ó and the Huskies’ bench erupted in a scene that instantly erased years of futility.