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Trojans Sleep Through Seattle

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The third-ranked USC Trojans passing game completely let them down as they got outplayed down the stretch in their 16-13 loss against the Washington Huskies.

I would like to take this moment to toot my own horn. In my preview piece last night, although I got the final score wrong I did accurately pick that the Huskies would win by three points.

And Huskies quarterback Jake Locker was huge in leading his team to victory. Although he’s known for being a scrambler he was rendered neutral on the ground. Thanks to sacks he ended up losing 15 yards on the ground.

However his scrambling abilities did allow him to sidestep the Trojans rush and make the big passes that kept drives alive. He ended up throwing 21-for-35 for 235 yards. Although he didn’t throw a touchdown pass, he did rush for four yards for Washington’s only touchdown in the first quarter. And most importantly he did not throw an interception.

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The same can’t be said of the Trojans quarterback Aaron Corp.

Starting in place for the injured Matt Barkley, Corp couldn’t make plays when needed going 13-for-22 with 110 passing yards throwing no touchdowns and one interception.

Although known for being a mobile quarterback, the Trojans did not roll Corp out like they did with Barkley in their first game against San Jose State. There were no bootlegs or play action passes that would utilize his mobility. Instead Corp stayed in the pocket looking uncomfortable throughout the whole game.

The most glaring statistic that demonstrates this: the Trojans went 0-for-10 on third downs and 0-for-1 on fourth downs. It’s awfully hard to win a game without any third downs and seems like a complete anomaly in the Pete Carroll era.

I was wrong on one count. The Huskies did have trouble containing the Trojans running game. Giving up 250 yards on 33 rushing attempts, it was not a complete containment as I envisioned. However the Huskies did go Vic the Brick Jacobs following Jacobs’ motto: bend but do not break. After giving up a touchdown on the Trojans opening drive, the Huskies did not allow the Trojans to sniff the end zone for the rest of the game.

The Trojans did help out the Huskies by putting the ball on the ground four times and losing it twice. All two lost fumbles and the interception were within the Huskies 30-yard line. Meanwhile the Huskies turned the ball over zero times.

A lot of Trojan fans turned to Twitter and started yelling about Corp’s ineffectiveness. I’m sorry but this loss is solely on the Trojans coaching staff.

Why did they not call plays to roll Corp out of the pocket and using his strengths?

Why were no timeouts called during the Huskies final drive?

Head coach Pete Carroll always says that he wants to put his players in a position to succeed, and I just find it very hard to believe that the game plan as it was laid out put Corp in a position to succeed.

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There are a lot of questions that need to be answered. Fortunately the woeful Washington State Cougars will be in town next Saturday at the Coliseum.

This much can be said: at least there won’t be any quarterback controversy.