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Keys To The Game

September 29, 2007|Gary Klein

1 Meet Locker. Quarterback Jake Locker leads the Huskies in rushing, a threat the Trojans must neutralize. Despite Coach Pete Carroll's Holtzian buildup, Locker is playing in only his fifth game -- his first against a top-ranked team. Six of his passes have been intercepted. USC senior John David Booty goes up against the Pac-10's second-best pass defense, but don't be fooled: None of Washington's four previous opponents is ranked higher than 51st nationally in passing.

2 Balancing act. USC must continue to rush the ball effectively, especially against a Washington defense ranked ninth in the conference against the run. The challenge will be mixing the tailbacks. Washington goes up against a Trojans defense that ranks eighth nationally against the run.

3 Environmental impact. The Huskies are hoping for rain to slow down the Trojans. Crowds at Husky Stadium played no role in USC's last two visits, but ear-splitting noise could be a factor if Washington makes it a contest.

No. 1 USC (3-0, 1-0) at Washington (2-2, 0-1) Today, 5 p.m., Husky Stadium, Seattle TV: Channel 7. Radio: 710

-- Gary Klein

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