USC have a big one this weekend as they play host to No. 21 ranked Colorado Buffaloes. The Trojans are coming off a huge 41-20 victory over Arizona State. This will be USC’s shot to get right back into the Pac-12 South race while Colorado looks to take another step forward and improve their record to 5-1. We took a moment with Jack Barsch from Ralphie Report to talk about the Colorado Buffaloes.
Colorado has shown improvement year by year under Mike MacIntyre. Do you believe this is Colorado finally playing up to their full potential?
I don’t know if that’s the right way to phrase it. I think Colorado is finally showing what they should and will be year in and out. Mike MacIntyre has these players on a mission, angry, and playing together. The coordinators of this team have the Buffs playing fast and tough, or what Coach Mac likes to say “Colorado Football.” Everyone on the roster is shaped to how Coach MacIntyre envisioned four years ago, and they are echoing the emotion of their coach. So yeah, they are playing up to what Coach Mac wants, but they still have a way to go before they play to their full potential.
What would you say, has been a key factor to the Buffaloes 4-1 start?
I would say the biggest factor is the revitalized offense. This team is playing fast, faster than they have before. Their pace is ranked fourth in the nation, according to SB Nation’s Bill Connelly, and they have the number ranked passing offense, according to the S&P calculated by Mr. Connelly. I mean, given how Oregon looked this week, you could argue that the Buffs have played, and beat, four bad teams. But given that CU was once a bad team, that is a huge step forward. The defense has also made huge strides, especially in the secondary, ranked first in the Pac-12 in passing defense. But really, the offense is putting the team in every game they play.
What would a win over USC mean for this Program going forward?
Oh boy, I can’t even think about that. That would put the Buffs at 5-1, with two Pac-12 road wins and put distance in between teams in the Pac-12 South. It would announce to the nation that the Buffs are back, for real, the Buffs are back! And it would put CU in a position to get bowl eligibility at home against ASU. Boy howdy. USC is probably the second most difficult game left on the schedule, and if they beat USC, it’s time to talk about Pac-12 South champions Colorado.
Coming into Saturday's game, What are some key players that could play a huge role?
Sefo Liufau, if he plays, will be a huge boon for Colorado, and Steven Montez, if he plays in his stead, is dynamic, but untested. Sefo is as tough as they come, experienced, and always plays well against USC. Montez, on the other hand, is physically gifted, has played lights out the past two games, and has some moxie that isn’t there otherwise. Either way, both should lead CU on offense.
On defense, Chidobe Awuzie is an NFL talent on par with USC’s stacked roster. The best way to deal with him is to throw away from him. Seriously. This secondary is loaded, and Awuzie is the cream of a very good crop.
Colorado can win if __________
They can hold special teams in check and the offense can get behind the USC secondary.
Key Matchup in this game?
JuJu Smith Schuster vs. Chidobe Awuzie. Just like last year. Two ultra talented, amazing college football players on each other.
Any predictions for Saturday's game?
I bet USC continues their momentum and wins by a touchdown, as much as it pains me to say it.