Friday's game against the Colorado Buffaloes (4-6, 1-5) will be the first Friday game for the Trojans since their 31-14 victory over Oregon State on November 1st, 2013. Colorado is two wins away from their first bowl appearance since 2007 and have had multiple close calls this season. Head Coach Mike MacIntyre might be 10-24 in his two and half seasons with the team, but considering what the program was before he took over, Colorado might be turning the corner soon. Let's look at the Buffaloes:
Colorado is 10th in the Pac-12 conference in scoring offense with just about 28 points per game. Junior quarterback Sefo Liufau is struggling in 2015 after throwing for 3,200 yards and 28 touchdowns last year. Liufau is completing 61.9% of his passes this year and has thrown for over 2,300 yards through 10 games, but only has nine passing touchdowns and has thrown six interceptions. Liufau has been knocked around a ton and the Colorado offensive line is mediocre (25 sacks allowed: 9th in the conference). Liufau's favorite target is senior Nelson Spruce. Spruce was an 2014 All-American Honorable Mention and has a touchdown in his past two games against USC. Spruce is second in the conference with 67 receptions and has 728 receiving yards but only two touchdowns. Talk about consistency; Spruce has at least five receptions and 60 receiving yards in every game this season. Colorado's rushing attack is right around the middle of the pack in the conference with 183 rushing yards per game. They are led by sophomore Phillip Lindsay (107 carries, 503 yards, 5 touchdowns).
In his first season with the program, defensive coordinator Jim Leavitt has improved the Buffs defense. After allowing 39 points per game in 2014, Colorado is sixth in the Pac-12 in scoring defense in 2015 at 28.3 per game. One area, however, where Colorado struggles is rushing defense. They are last in the conference at 208 yards per game. USC should run the ball a lot against Colorado. You don't see this a lot by a defensive back but Chide Awuzie leads the Buffs in tackles (61), tackles for a loss (9), and sacks (4). Awuzie also is tied for the team lead with two interceptions.
USC and Colorado will kick off at 6:00 P.T. on Friday and that game can be seen on ESPN2.