Matt Fink’s first road start as the new USC quarterback did not exactly go as well as his outing last week but the No. 21 Trojans were still in it trailing 17-7 at halftime to No. 17 Washington in an energetic atmosphere up in Seattle.
The one-time backup signal-caller was hot (one short touchdown run off a keeper) and cold (an interception that was later turned into a UW touchdown) in a difficult ask of anybody under center, much less USC’s third-stringer coming into the season and the starter for now with freshman Kedon Slovis still not cleared to play after suffering a concussion against Utah last Saturday. The play of Fink, who threw for 62 yards as well, was about all the team had going on offense with the big receivers Michael Pittman and Tyler Vaughns mostly kept in check on the outside and the ground game lacking for hardly any explosiveness.
The Huskies, meanwhile, were quite efficient at utilizing short fields on offense to jump out to an early lead. Off a solid punt return into plus territory, Richard Newton (14 total yards) wound up punching it into the end zone and Washington came right back again by scoring after their defense pulled in an interception. Andre Baccellia was the one who netted the six points on that latter score, falling on a fumble for a touchdown.
Strong-armed quarterback Jacob Eason didn’t have much of a chance to showcase what he could do under center in throwing for only 97 yards in the first half.
Washington does get the ball to start the second half and can put a little more distance between them and USC in what is shaping up to be a pivotal Pac-12 clash in the Pacific Northwest.