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The Scouting Report

October 25, 2003|Gary Klein

NO. 5 USC (6-1, 2-1)at WASHINGTON (4-3, 2-1)

TODAY, 12:30 P.M., HUSKY STADIUM

TV -- Channel 7

Radio -- KMPC (1540)

WHEN USC HAS THE BALL

If quarterback Matt Leinart keeps picking apart secondaries the way he dissected Notre Dame's, he could help put wide receiver Mike Williams in position to be invited to New York for December's Heisman Trophy presentation. Look for the Trojans to establish the run with tailbacks LenDale White and Hershel Dennis, and get Reggie Bush into mismatches from the backfield or as a wideout. Flanker Keary Colbert, back on track to become USC's all-time receptions leader, could have another big game if Washington focuses on Williams. Washington boasts the Pac-10's second-best pass defense, and the Huskies also limited Oregon State's Steven Jackson to 49 yards rushing.

WHEN WASHINGTON HAS THE BALL

Controversy was brewing like Starbucks coffee for a few weeks because wide receiver Reggie Williams complained he wasn't getting enough passes from quarterback Cody Pickett. That was rectified when Williams caught eight passes against Oregon State, but it was Charles Frederick who amassed 216 yards receiving and caught two touchdown passes in the upset victory. Coach Keith Gilbertson might have to throw thoughts of a balanced offense into nearby Lake Washington because leading rusher Rich Alexis has a deep thigh bruise. USC will be without linebacker Matt Grootegoed, a Butkus Award semifinalist who has a high ankle sprain. Sophomore Dallas Sartz will make his first start in his place. Defensive end Omar Nazel will play with a cast on his right wrist because of a thumb injury.

KEYS TO USC VICTORY

Establish the run: If White, Dennis and Bush rush effectively, Leinart and his receivers will sparkle in the Emerald City.

Pummel Pickett: If the secondary covers well, USC's front seven can torment Washington's quarterback and either sack him or force him into bad decisions.

Hush Husky fans: The Trojans need to assume control early and maintain it because Washington's home-field advantage can be huge if the crowd gets going.

HOW THEY COMPARE

*--* USC WASH 39.4 Scoring 27.3 19.4 Points allowed 23.3 274.0 Passing offense 279.3 152.9 Rushing offense 124.9 426.9 Total offense 404.2 255.4 Passing defense 221.1 79.0 Rushing defense 107.7 334.4 Total defense 328.8

*--*

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