USC’s Marqise Lee continues to contribute in a big way

USC freshman Marqise Lee continued his excellent season Saturday, catching a touchdown pass and returning a kickoff for a touchdown in No. 18 USC’s 40-17 victory over Washington at the Coliseum.

It was the second time in as many games that Lee scored two touchdowns.

“I’ll get in trouble for saying this, I’m sure, but I thought Marqise looked like the best player on the field,” USC Coach Lane Kiffin said.

The Trojans were fortunate that Lee was available.


On Friday, he was at USC’s student health center tethered to an intravenous drip because of a fever. But he recovered in time to catch nine passes for 74 yards, including a nine-yard touchdown from quarterback Matt Barkley.

Lee also scored on an 88-yard kickoff return at the start of the second half.

He started by running up the middle of the field, but hit a blockade of would-be tacklers before breaking toward the right sideline and running to the end zone.

“All I remember is Robert [Woods] saying ‘Go to the outside, go to the outside,’ ” Lee said.

Fresh start

Redshirt freshman George Uko started at defensive tackle for the first time in place of injured DaJohn Harris and was in on 11/2 of the Trojans’ seven sacks.

“I wasn’t nervous,” Uko said. “It felt like a party out there because of the way we were playing and having fun out there.”

End Nick Perry had 21/2 sacks and end Devon Kennard, linebacker Lamar Dawson and cornerback Isiah Wiley each had one.

Muscling through

USC tailback Curtis McNeal rushed for a career-best 148 yards and scored on a 79-yard touchdown run.

McNeal broke off left tackle toward Washington’s sideline. Safety Will Shamburger appeared to have him wrapped up at the 20-yard line, but McNeal shook the tackle.

“I just muscled through it,” McNeal said. “I was like, ‘I’m not letting him tackle me.’ I just couldn’t let it happen. I just kept my feet moving and shrugged him off and kept going.”

Reason to celebrate

Cornerback Nickell Robey was happy the Trojans achieved a victory on his late mother’s birthday.

Maxine Robey, who died in February 2010, would have been 46 on Saturday. Robey had dedicated the game to his mother and had several relatives in town from Florida to watch the game.

“It’s a very special weekend for me,” said Robey, who had three tackles. “I know she was up there watching me. It just felt great.”

A first for Montana

Washington quarterback Keith Price, who played at Bellflower St. John Bosco High, suffered a knee injury in the third quarter and did not return.

Price completed 12 of 16 passes for 125 yards. He was sacked four times.

Price was replaced by Nick Montana, who played at Westlake Village Oaks Christian and is the son of NFL Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana.

Nick Montana connected with Kasen Williams for a 20-yard touchdown with 13 seconds left. It was Montana’s first touchdown pass for the Huskies.

Quick hits

Safety T.J. McDonald left the game and did not return because of blurred vision, Kiffin said. … USC recorded a safety for the first time since 2006 against UCLA.