USC quarterback Matt Barkley scrambles with the ball in the fourth quarter… (Rick Bowmer / Associated…)
USC is seeking its first football victory against Washington in Seattle since 2007. Times staff writer Gary Klein looks at the matchups and story lines heading into Saturday's game:
Last week at Utah, USC quarterback Matt Barkley played as it was expected he would before the season began.
After early-game snap problems, Barkley played with poise and for the first time this season hit receivers on short, medium and deep routes. The 83-yard touchdown pass play to Marqise Lee was the longest of Barkley's career and was noteworthy because most of the yardage was covered by the pass, not the run after the catch.
Barkley has passed for 15 touchdowns and has been intercepted five times.
Lee has 52 receptions, seven for touchdowns. Robert Woods has 31 catches, five for touchdowns.
Washington quarterback Keith Price, who set school records last season for completion percentage and passing efficiency, ranks 12th in the Pac-12 in passing efficiency. The junior from Compton has struggled because of injuries suffered by linemen, running backs and receivers.
He has passed for five touchdowns and has been intercepted four times.
Receiver Kasen Williams has 31 catches, three for touchdowns.
On the run
USC senior tailback Curtis McNeal started last week against Utah but was held out after an early series because of an apparent head injury. Junior Silas Redd, who has averaged a team-best 83 yards rushing per game, also has been nursing injuries.
So third-year sophomore D.J. Morgan could get another extended opportunity if the upperclassmen are slowed or cannot play. Morgan rushed for 46 yards in nine carries against Utah.
Washington's Bishop Sankey has rushed for more than 100 yards in three consecutive games. The sophomore gained 103 yards against Portland State, 144 yards against Stanford and 104 against Oregon.
Randall Telfer made a one-handed touchdown catch against Utah. Xavier Grimble also is a dynamic playmaker. And Junior Pomee appears faster than both.
Is this the game where USC's tight ends get more opportunities?
Telfer and Grimble each have eight receptions and have combined for three touchdowns.
Washington tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins has 24 catches, one for a touchdown.
USC, ranked 28th nationally in total defense, held California and Utah to less than 100 yards rushing in its last two games, so the Trojans will be out to end Sankey's streak of 100-yard performances.
Freshman tackle Leonard Williams could make his second consecutive start for a defensive line that continues to get production from ends Morgan Breslin, Wes Horton and Greg Townsend Jr., and tackles George Uko and Antwaun Woods.
Coach Lane Kiffin said junior Torin Harris will continue to start at cornerback opposite Nickell Robey.
Washington's defense finished last season ranked No. 106 among 120 teams in the Football Bowl Subdivision. Defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox replaced Nick Holt in the off-season. The Huskies are ranked 38th through five games.
Rain is forecast for Saturday, which might not bode well for the Trojans.
USC has a record of 21-22-1 when it rained during a major portion of a game, according to USC's sports information office.
USC last played in the rain on Nov. 27, 2010, when the Trojans lost to Notre Dame at the Coliseum, 20-16.
Just for kicks
USC's Andre Heidari will try to regain his form after getting distracted by the crowd at Utah and missing two second-half field-goal attempts. Heidari has made four of six attempts this season.
Trojans punter Kyle Negrete has averaged 44.1 yards per kick.
Washington's Travis Coons has made three of four field-goal attempts. Coons has averaged 39.9 yards per punt, Korey Durkee 36.9.