Tyrone Willingham had a bad start to the week and Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, it got even worse, with the Huskies being blown out by the USC Trojans 56-0.
The Trojans’ offense, which received some criticism following last week’s 17-point output in Tucson, rebounded in a big way, putting up 485 yards of offense en route to scoring 56 points.
“This was a great way to bounce back,” USC quarterback Mark Sanchez said. “It was a total team victory. The ground game got going and the receivers made some great catches.”
Sanchez got off to a quick start connecting on all five pass attempts in the Trojans’ first drive, culminating with a 4-yard touchdown strike to Patrick Turner.
Turner and Sanchez teamed up again on the next drive for a 32-yard touchdown giving the Trojans a 14-point lead and they never looked back.
Turner continued his solid senior campaign, pulling in six catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns.
“Patrick’s become a real dominant football player for us,” Carroll said of Turner, who has a team-high seven touchdown receptions. “He’s older, more confident and has really become a go-to guy.”
Sanchez completed 15-of-19 pass attempts for 167 yards and two touchdowns on the game.
“Mark is a really, really good football player, on the verge of being great,” Carroll said of his junior quarterback.
The Trojans offensive line controlled the line of scrimmage rolling up 297 yards on the ground and had five different players (Gable, Johnson, Sanchez, Green and Tyler) rush for touchdowns.
C.J. Gable scored two first half touchdowns, and added a spectacular 50-yard run up the middle late in the game, finishing with a game-high 108 rushing yards.
Marc Tyler returned from injury this week and got a chance to show off his skills in the second half. Tyler gained 85 yards on 16 carries and a scored touchdown, all career-highs for the redshirt freshman.
“I just worked hard all week and it paid off in the game today,” Tyler said. “I knew that if the offense came out and scored a lot early that I would get a chance.”
While the offense got back on track, the defense continued to be the strength of the team, holding yet another opponent scoreless.
“I loved our effort today. I thought we really played within our philosophy and our approach,” Carroll said. “We really have a fantastic defensive group and they’re taking the preparation from the week and putting it into the game.”
USC’s defense allowed just 184 yards of offense and secured the shutout performance with late interceptions by Chris Galippo and Drew McAllister.
Gallipo stopped the Huskies deepest drive by intercepting a pass from Ronnie Fouch on the goal line and returned it 50 yards.
“Those are the kind of plays that you imagine days before,” Galippo said of his interception. “The only thing that I was thinking of was holding on to that football and finishing the play.”
“It was exciting to see so many young guys get in and hold onto the shutout there at the end,” Carroll said. “It’s really a source of pride for everyone.”
The Trojans have now posted three shutouts in their last four outings and have outscored their opponents 163-13 in four home games this season.
“We’re just out there playing Trojan defense and we don’t want to give up anything out there,” Rey Maualuga said. “I think our defense has yet to show its best.”
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