Preview: Southern California at Washington

When: 7:30 PM ET, Saturday, November 12, 2016
Where: Husky Stadium, Seattle, Washington


Fourth-ranked Washington is in good position in terms of the College Football Playoff but faces a big hurdle with red-hot USC arriving in Seattle for Saturday's Pac-12 contest. The Trojans have won five consecutive contests and have soared with redshirt freshman Sam Darnold as the starting quarterback and will represent a big test for a Huskies' defense allowing 17 points per game.

If things had gone differently following the 2013 season, third-year Washington coach Chris Petersen might be standing on the Trojans' sideline for this showdown. But Petersen didn't click with then-USC athletic director Pat Haden during the interview process and the job went to then-Huskies coach Steve Sarkisian - which opened the door for Petersen to leave Boise State for Washington. "It's just like recruiting: Fit's got to be right on both sides," Peterson told ESPN.com. "I think it was, you know, kind of obvious after talking. You've got to have your way and know the strengths and weaknesses and the details of everything you're doing." Clay Helton is now trying to guide the Trojans back to relevancy and the team has won by an average of 21 points during the winning streak.

TV: 7:30 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Washington -8.5

ABOUT USC (6-3, 5-2 Pac-12): Darnold has thrown 18 touchdown pass and topped 300 yards three times during the winning streak that has displayed that the Trojans have a star quarterback in the making. Overall, he has passed for 1,874 yards and 20 touchdowns against four interceptions and he is mixing well with standout junior wideout JuJu Smith-Schuster, who has 48 receptions for 641 yards and eight touchdowns. Sophomore inside linebacker Cameron Smith leads the defense with 63 tackles while sophomore outside linebacker Gustin Porter has a team-best 7.5 tackles for losses.

ABOUT WASHINGTON (9-0, 6-0): Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning matched his own school record with six touchdown passes in last week's win over California and he also holds the single-season mark of 34 passing scores. Browning, who has passed for 2,273 yards, regularly teams up with junior wideouts John Ross (44 reception, 14 touchdowns) and Dante Pettis (37 catches, 11 scores), while sophomore running back Myles Gaskins (952 yards) is closing in on his second consecutive 1,000-yard season. The defense suffered a huge blow with news that senior outside linebacker Joe Mathis (team-best five sacks) is done for the campaign and needs shoulder surgery.

EXTRA POINTS

1. USC leads the series 51-29-4 but Washington posted a 17-12 victory in last season's meeting.

2. Huskies junior ILB Keishawn Bierria leads the nation with five fumble recoveries.

3. Trojans junior CB Adoree' Jackson is averaging 31.2 yards on kickoff returns and 14.7 on punts - returning one of each for a score.

PREDICTION: Washington 33, USC 31

Stats and Records

Team Comparison

  W/L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Southern California 6-3 W5 32.0 23.6 5-0 1-3 6-1 0-0 5-2
Washington 9-0 W9 48.3 17.0 5-0 4-0 1-0 0-0 6-0

Last Meeting

Southern California Washington
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/8/15 WASH 17 USC 12 346 190 156 299 135 164

Player Stats

Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
USC C. Kessler 55.2 156 0 2
WASH J. Browning 50.0 137 0 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
USC T. Madden 17 120 7.1 0
WASH M. Gaskin 22 134 6.1 1
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
USC J. Smith-Schuster 6 82 13.7 0
WASH J. Perkins 4 57 14.2 1
TDs Player TD
USC R. Jones 1
WASH M. Gaskin 1
Season
Passing Player COMP% YDS TD INT
USC S. Darnold 67.9 1874 20 4
WASH J. Browning 67.7 2273 34 3
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
USC R. Jones 100 679 6.8 7
WASH M. Gaskin 151 952 6.3 8
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
USC J. Smith-Schuster 48 641 13.4 8
WASH J. Ross 44 742 16.9 14
TDs Player TD
USC R. Jones 8
WASH J. Ross 16

Quickchart Matchup

Southern California Off vs  Washington Def
475.4 yards
329.8 yards
5.6 yards/rush
3.8 yards/rush
7.7 yards/attempt
5.6 yards/attempt
Washington Off vs  Southern California Def
499.4 yards
373.1 yards
5.9 yards/rush
4.1 yards/rush
10.3 yards/attempt
6.6 yards/attempt

Matchup Stats - Full Matchup

Southern California Overall Washington
6-3-0 W/L 9-0-0
5-4-0 ATS 5-4-0
2-7-0 O/U 8-1-0
32.0 Pts For 48.3
23.6 Pts Against 17.0
Southern California A/H Washington
1-3 W/L 5-0
1-3-0 ATS 3-2-0
2-2-0 O/U 4-1-0
22.8 Pts For 46.6
31.0 Pts Against 10.6