Husky Trails: Washington In For a Tough Game Against USC

Ian PetersonCorrespondent ISeptember 18, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 5:  Head Coach Steve Sarkisian of the Washington Huskies speaks to quarterback Jake Locker #10 of the Washington Huskies during their game against the LSU Tigers on September 5, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. The LSU Tigers defeated the Washington Huskies 31-23. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

A lot of talk has been made this week about the game between USC and Washington, especially considering the coordinators of USC are now leading the Huskies.

Add in a healthy dose of intrigue around the health of Matt Barkley, who looks to be out for injury for the game.

With Aaron Corp starting for the USC, plus a heavy knowledge of USC's schemes, many think that USC is vulnerable to a much improved Husky team.

Kirk Herbstreit, of ESPN, even put the Trojans on upset alert.

As much as many fans would like to hope for Herbstreit's prediction to come true, it seems very unlikely.

While there is a heavy knowledge of what USC is going to do because of Steve Sarkisian and Nick Holt, the imbalance of talent is heavily weighted in USC's favor. 

Sarkisian has even stated that in these kinds of situations it's easy to get into what is called "paralysis of analysis," or the ability to over-think the encounter.

The Huskies shouldn't do anything to out-think the Trojans, just do what has succeeded for them so far and fix what hasn't.

The Huskies are second in the nation in third down conversions, and can make a real game of it if they continue that trend. 

Quarterback Jake Locker, arguably the second best individual player in the conference right now behind Cal running back Jahvid Best, gives the Huskies an excellent chance to stay in every game.

On the flip side, the USC offense is so stacked with talent at running back and wide receiver that it really doesn't matter who is playing quarterback.

The USC offense looked mildly stale in the Ohio State game, and many pundits have seized on this. However, look at that last drive of the game for the Trojans, and you can see the USC machine can still spin up.

Everyone likes to talk about the poise of Matt Barkley in that drive, and that is uncontested, but it was really tailback Joe McKnight that drove the team down the field.

The Husky defense looked spotty at times in the win against Idaho, giving up a lot of yardage in the passing game.

The same in the LSU game, where the Tigers receivers looked almost like they were playing with the Washington secondary players.

Guys like Damian Williams are poised to have big games against the Huskies if play continues like the first two games. 

This game is going to go to USC, don't let anyone kid you, but the Huskies will make a game of it on offense.

It's about the only thing the Huskies can do at this point.

So far, though, they seem to do it really well and only look to get better.