USC: Devin Aguilar

First, first look: Washington

July, 22, 2011
7/22/11
3:52
PM PT
The weeks are counting down until fall camp begins for the USC football team the first week of August. During each of the in-between weeks, we've been offering up an early first look at the 12 scheduled opponents for the 2011 season, in chronological order. We began with Minnesota, Utah and Syracuse, continued the next three weeks with Arizona State, Arizona, and Cal and added Notre Dame, Stanford and Colorado recently. We now present Washington, who the Trojans will play at home on Saturday, Nov. 12:

History: Three Pac-12 teams have beaten USC the last two times they matched up: Stanford, Oregon and Washington.

The Huskies memorably upset the Trojans in September 2009 when then-freshman Matt Barkley missed the game because of a shoulder bruise and Aaron Corp struggled in his place. Then, last October, Washington beat USC on a last-second field goal -- again -- from kicker Erik Folk, taking advantage of a miss by USC's Joe Houston on the previous possession.




Both games were decided on the final play, and both were the Trojans' first losses of their respective seasons. If this game ends up USC's first loss in 2011, the Trojans will have had a super-successful year, but that's beside the point.

Historically, USC leads the series 49-28-4. The last time Washington beat the Trojans three times straight was in 1990-1992. On the topic of streaks, USC has twice defeated the Huskies at least seven times straight, in1965-1974 and 2002-2008. Washington's best run was five consecutive victories in the 1930s.

Offense: Washington was carried by quarterback Jake Locker in last year's game at the Coliseum. Coach (and offensive playcaller) Steve Sarkisian probably won't have that same benefit this season when he turns to true sophomore Keith Price as his starter.

Price, a Bellflower St. John Bosco High product, did well in limited opportunities behind Locker last season but has little starting experience. In eight games in 2010, he threw 37 total passes and completed 19 of them for two touchdowns and no interceptions. Most of those numbers came in his lone start at Oregon in November.

His receiving options are plentiful: senior Jermaine Kearse, a 1,000-yard guy in 2010, is in the conversation as best Pac-12 receiver with Arizona's Juron Criner and USC's Robert Woods. Devin Aguilar, another senior receiver, is a steady talent. Incoming freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins is gigantic -- 6 feet 6, 250 pounds -- and might start at tight end right away.

But the Huskies' offense will be based around junior running back Chris Polk, a Redlands East Valley High alum who was second in the conference in rushing last season behind Oregon's LaMichael James. He averaged 20 carries a game last year and could get even more in 2011.

The offensive line is middle of the road for the conference, with converted defensive tackle Senio Kelemete the most interesting player as a potential NFL left tackle. Junior center Drew Schaefer started 11 games in 2010.

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2014 TEAM LEADERS

PASSINGATTCOMPYDSTD
C. Kessler100718468
RUSHINGCARYDSAVGTD
J. Allen603185.31
J. Davis26602.31
RECEIVINGRECYDSAVGTD
N. Agholor232129.23
J. Smith1117015.50
TEAMRUSHPASSTOTAL
Offense151292443
TEAMPFPAMARGIN
Scoring322012