On the road for the third time in their last four games, the USC Trojans meet the Washington Huskies Saturday night at CenturyLink Field in a Pac-12 showdown.
No. 11 USC regrouped and overcame a 14-point first quarter deficit for a big 38-28 win over Utah last week behind Matt Barkley’s three touchdown passes and 303 yards in the air.
Utah converted a Barkley fumble in the game’s first minute into an eight-yard return for a touchdown, and quarterback Jon Hays hit receiver Kenneth Scott for an 11-yard score and a 14-0 lead.
Barkley and the Trojans then went on a 38-14 tear led by receiver Marqise Lee’s 12 receptions for 192 yards. Lee’s 83-yard score with 12:10 left in the fourth quarter gave the Trojans enough of a cushion to close out the Utes and avoid their second loss of the season.
Silas Redd rushed for 77 yards and one score, and leads USC with 415 yards and five touchdowns on the season.
The USC defense forced Utah to punt on four of their six possessions in the second half, and cornerback Nickell Robey returned an interception 38 yards for a touchdown to put the Trojans up 38-21.
USC will have to avoid a slow start against Washington, who is unbeaten at home this season.
The Huskies wished they were home last week when Oregon blew them out 52-21 on the road, with 497 total yards and four touchdown passes from quarterback Marcus Mariota.
Washington running back Bishop Shankey ran for 104 yards and two touchdowns, but the Huskies could never recover from a 21-0 first quarter by the Ducks, and fell to their second ranked opponent of the season.
Shankey may be the key for Washington with USC giving up 112.6 yards per game on the ground this season.
Washington’s biggest win of the year came against the thorn in the Trojans’ side in recent seasons, Stanford, when Shankey rushed for 144 yards and a score in the upset.
The contest begins at 7 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by FOX.
Prediction: The Huskies defense was incapable of holding back Oregon, and the Trojans have just as much if not more firepower than the Ducks. Unless Washington can force Barkley to make early mistakes, USC will win their third straight.
Betting Odds: USC is favored by 14 points
Over/Under: 55 points
Predicted Score: USC 30 , Washington 20