USC cornerback Anthony Brown gets an escort by teammates into the end zone… (Elaine Thompson / Associated…)
USC survived Seattle.
But not all that impressively.
Silas Redd rushed for 155 yards and a touchdown and the Trojans caused four turnovers, and USC needed all of it to escape with a 24-14 victory over Washington in a Pac-12 Conference game at CenturyLink Field.
Washington quarterback Keith Price lost two fumbles and had two passes intercepted, but he also threw a scare into the Trojans late with his passing and running.
The two lost fumbles hurt most.
USC led Washington, 24-14, early in the fourth quarter when Price fumbled at the Trojans’ three-yard line.
Then, with the Huskies facing a third and eight deep in their own territory with a little more than two minutes left, he made a terrific escape from heavy pass rush, snaked for a 15-yard gain, then coughed up the ball again after a big hit by USC’s Dion Bailey.
And that was it for Washington.
Price completed 19 of 27 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions. Despite being sacked five times, he managed to rush for 33 yards.
USC improved to 5-1 overall, 3-1 in Pac-12 play. Washington fell to 3-3, 1-2.
Redd was a workhorse for USC, carrying 26 times. Curtis McNeal carried 11 times for 58 yards as the Trojans outgained the Huskies on the ground, 204-100.
The USC defense, which had held California and Utah to fewer than 100 yards rushing its last two games, snapped the triple-digits rushing streak by Husky back Bishop Sankey, who was held to 54 yards in 14 carries.
Washington didn’t have a first down between the 3:30 mark in the first quarter and midway through the third quarter.
USC’s offense went cold in a scoreless second half, though, and Matt Barkley turned in a pedestrian performance, completing 10 of 20 passes for 167 yards and a touchdown with one interception.
The break-open play of the game was turned in by USC’s special teams, when Anthony Brown burst through the line deep in Husky territory to block a punt by Travis Coons midway through the second quarter. As the ball scooted and was batted around the turf, Brown scrambled over to scoop it up and run seven yards for a touchdown that gave USC a 24-7 lead.
A 57-yard run by Redd on USC’s first play from scrimmage set up a 23-yard field goal by Andre Heidari.
Just about a minute later, the Trojans made it 10-0 on an 11-yard run by Redd, after a short drive set up by a spectacular interception by Bailey, who was running one way and reached back across his body to snare a pass by Price.
It was Bailey’s fourth interception of the season.
Washington cut its deficit by capitalizing on a USC turnover when Marcus Peters picked off a Barkley pass at the Husky 35 and returned it seven yards to the 42.
It took Washington eight plays to score, with Price passing 17 yards to Kasen Williams for a touchdown.
USC struck back early in the second quarter with a nine-play, 76-yard march that was capped by an 18-yard scoring pass from Barkley to tight end Xavier Grimble that led to a 17-7 Trojans lead.
Hiserman reported from Los Angeles.