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Nickell Robey celebrating with Josh Shaw
Heading into the game, it was going to be a tough task dealing with the Huskies' dynamic twosome of tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins and wide receiver Kasen Williams.
Cornerback Nickell Robey made it his personal mission to shut down Williams, and he effectively did so—holding Washington's leading receiver to two catches for 22 yards. The captain of the Trojans' defense was pressing Williams all night, and gave him no breathing room.
The Trojans held Seferian-Jenkins to one catch for four yards in the first half, which is quite a testament alone, considering that Seferian-Jenkins is one of the best tight ends in the country. In the 3rd quarter, the 6'6" 266-pound tight end displayed why he's so highly though of, and torched the USC secondary for multiple big gains—including a 29-yard touchdown. He finished with 83 yards on five catches.
For the most part, the secondary blanketed Washington's pass attack. Price's longest pass for the night went to Seferian-Jenkins, but no other receiver had more than 45 yards receiving.
Lots of the success had to do with the pressure up front, but when Price did have time to throw, there wasn't much there in the form of open receivers.
Florida transfer Josh Shaw filled in for the injured Torin Francis and had an interception in the fourth quarter. Perhaps the most important play of the night was from safety Jawanza Starling. Washington was driving early in the third quarter. Down 10, the Huskies were in the red zone looking to make it a one score game.
On a scramble, Starling came up and stripped Price of the ball. The Trojans recovered and stemmed the mass amount of momentum that the Huskies grabbed at that part of the contest.
Forcing two turnovers is a huge boon for the secondary.