Huskies downright offensive in loss

Tyrone Willingham (Kim Grinolds/Dawgman.com)

LOS ANGELES - You knew it was going to be bad for the Washington Huskies when the USC crowd cheered for a Huskies' first down, their first of the game, coming with 8:20 left in the second quarter. Even the fans' charity couldn't help the visitors, as UW got whupped early and often, eventually getting blanked 56-0 in front of a crowd of 80,216 at the LA Memorial Coliseum on a blustery Saturday.

And with the Trojans finishing the game at Washington's two-yard line, it could have been worse.

The defeat did nothing to quell the storms surrounding lame duck head coach Tyrone Willingham, fired effective December 7th by UW Athletic Director Scott Woodward at the beginning of the week. If anything, the result added more questions as to why Woodward decided to retain Willingham until the end of the season. Woodward was on hand to watch the carnage, as was University President Mark Emmert.

With another notch in the loss column, the Huskies (0-8, 0-5) extend their current losing streak to 10, the longest in school history. It also was their 17th loss in 19 games, and with North Texas' 51-40 win over Western Kentucky earlier in the day, the Huskies are now the only Division-1 school in America to have not won a game this season.

It was the worst loss in the Willingham era since September 13th, when they lost to Oklahoma 55-14, and the worst loss the Huskies have suffered since getting dumped 65-7 against Miami in 2001 in a game rescheduled due to 9/11. It's the second shutout the Huskies have suffered at the hands of USC in five years. In 2004 Washington lost 38-0 on the road, breaking their 271-game scoring streak, the longest in the nation at that time.

With Washington State getting pasted 58-0 by Stanford, the Huskies and Cougars were outscored 114-0. The Huskies have been outscored 123-20 in their last three games. Opponents have also forced Washington to punt 15 times in their last eight quarters of action.

Mark Sanchez, who was taken out with 7:56 left in the third quarter, finished the game throwing for 167 yards and two touchdowns. C.J. Gable added 108 yards and two touchdowns, while freshman Marc Tyler tacked on 85 additional yards for the Trojans (7-1, 5-1), who outrushed the Huskies 297-71. Washington was led by the 113 yards passing of Ronnie Fouch and the 54 rush yards of Brandon Johnson.

The game was over before it got started. USC forced three-and-outs on Washington's first three possessions, and the Trojans were able to score via two Sanchez-to-Patrick Turner touchdown passes and Gable's first scoring run to put the Huskies in a 21-0 hole with 3:31 left in the first quarter.

Even when Washington made a break for themselves by stopping USC on 4th down at their goal line, an offsides penalty allowed Sanchez to sneak in, bumping the score to 28-0 with 10:37 left before halftime.

The Huskies only made it into Trojan territory four times the entire game, twice via pass interference penalties. The only glimmer of light offensively came when Washington marched from their own 2-yard line to inside the Trojans' 10, only to see a Fouch pass picked off by backup linebacker Chris Galippo, who returned it inside Husky territory. Another drive that made it into USC territory was snuffed out when Fouch threw his third pick of the night, this one taken by safety Drew McAllister.

Overall the Huskies were outgained 325-35 and 18-2 via first down when the Trojans had their starters in. Trenton Tuiasosopo led the Huskies defensively with 12 tackles, while safety Tripper Johnson added 11 stops.



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