Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Game 5: Washington Huskies

Game 5 Preview: The Washington Huskies (4-1, 2-0) come into Saturday's game at the Coliseum on a 3 game winning-streak, with wins over Fresno, UCLA and Arizona. They are lead offensively by senior QB Isaiah Stanback and senior WR Sonny Shackelford. The Huskies defense is anchored senior DB CJ Wallace, who leads the team in tackles, and senior LB Scott White, who leads the team in sacks and is second to Wallace in tackles.

Washington Huskies: By The Numbers
Offense: (National Ranking, Pac-10 Ranking)
Rushing: 167 yds/gm (39, 6)
Passing: 198 yds/gm (64, 9)
Total: 365 yds/gm (48, 7)
Scoring: 25.2 pts/gm (59, 8)

Defense: (National Ranking, Pac-10 Ranking)
Rushing: 105 yds/gm (36, 3)
Passing: 235 yds/gm (97, 10)
Passing Efficiency: 131 (74, 8)
Total: 340 (74, 8)
Scoring: 23 pts/gm (73, 7)

Miscellaneous: (National Ranking, Pac-10 Ranking)
Turnovers: -3
Sacks: +8

USC Trojans: By The Numbers
Offense: (National Ranking, Pac-10 Ranking)
Rushing: 168 yds/gm (36, 5)
Passing: 246 yds/gm (26, 4)
Total: 414 yds/gm (25, 4)
Scoring: 31.5 pts/gm (26, 3)

Defense: (National Ranking, Pac-10 Ranking)
Rushing: 78 yds/gm (17, 2)
Passing: 189 yds/gm (56, 5)
Passing Efficiency: 103 (22, 2)
Total: 267 (22, 2)
Scoring: 12.25 pts/gm (14, 1)

Miscellaneous: (National Ranking, Pac-10 Ranking)
Turnovers: +5
Sacks: PUSH

Analysis: Strictly by the numbers, USC should dominate this game. With an edge in virtually every aspect of the game, the Trojans are (and should be) the heavy favorites in this game. However, the Trojans have been heavy double-digit favorites in all of their games thus far, but failed to cover the spread in 3 of their 4 games. I know, I know, the Trojans, for all intents and purposes, could have covered against Nebraska and dominated (at least defensively) in Tucson...but there is something to be said about the youth (or inexperience) of this team - especially on offense.

JD Booty and Steve Smith had an electric connection in Pullman last week, but Booty has shown in inability to spread the ball around in any individual game. In addition, due to the merry-go-round running back rotation, the top backs (Moody and Washington) seem to be unable to get into a "groove."

Defensively, the Trojans speedy linebackers should be able to contain Stanback on the ground, much as they were able to last year. The inexperienced secondary may have problems with Shackelford and company, but I don't expect that to happen - there will simply be too much pressure on Stanback and too much speed on this defense for the Huskies to get anything going on offense.

Prediction: I think the Trojans win this one big. Back in the Coliseum for the Pac-10 home opener, Pete will have the troops ready to roll. Chauncey Washington is finally "healthy", and with Moody should provide a very strong running game on Saturday. In addition, I see Booty and Smith once again having a big day against this defense.
Final Score:
USC - 38
Washington - 6

Isaiah Stanback looks to "Get Crunk" against the Trojans on Saturday:


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