Game of the Weak: How Overrated Are the USC Trojans?

Ben AikeyCorrespondent ISeptember 19, 2009

SEATTLE - SEPTEMBER 19:  Quarterback Aaron Corp #15 of the USC Trojans looks to pass against the Washington Huskies on September 19, 2009 at Husky Stadium in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

I didn’t bother to watch USC take on Washington today. I figured the Huskies aren’t any good, and even in spite of the weak performance by the Trojans last week against Ohio State and the injury to Matt Barkley, USC would prevail.

I can’t wrap my head around this one. Too many things went wrong for the Trojans in their 16-13 loss to Washington on a last-second field goal.

Aaron Corp looked just plain bad, completing just 13 of 22 passes for 110 yards and an interception. I know I said last week that Matt Barkley didn’t look impressive against Ohio State. But if he was unimpressive, Corp couldn’t play backup for Duke (considering today was his best effort).

I see this as a serious problem.

USC is supposed to be one of the elite programs in the country, which means elite recruiting. Either their scouts need to be fired for recruiting busts or ESPN’s scouts need to get the axe for being far from accurate in their rankings.

USC couldn’t convert a single third down all day. They also tried once on fourth, and that didn’t work out either.

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Reviewing the numbers, USC actually averaged 7.6 yards per carry. Joe McKnight, the hero of last week’s game in the Horseshoe, had 100 yards rushing and a touchdown, not to mention an average of 9.1 yards per carry.

So why didn’t USC keep running the ball? Why didn’t they pound McKnight down Washington’s throat?

Let’s put it this way. Any time your opponent’s kicker scores nearly enough points to beat you by himself, you’ve got a few issues to fix.

I said it last week: USC is overrated. I predicted their first loss would come against Cal in a few weeks, and after seeing how they’ve played the last two weeks, I expect that one to be a blowout in favor of the Golden Bears, who have yet to score fewer than 35 points. The Trojans haven’t scored 35 combined in their last two games.

Is it possible that Steve Sarkisian, not Pete Carroll, was the one really responsible for USC’s success? The way they’re playing at the quarterback position so far this season, I’d say he had a large part in their past success. The Trojans are really struggling without him, and the Huskies are thriving.

The way this season is going, I wouldn’t be shocked to see USC drop at least two more games. It would shock me, however, if they manage to win the Pac-10.

And they certainly won’t play for the BCS National Championship.

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