The Pac-12 South is within reach for USC. It’s very simple for the Trojans, Win and a berth to the Pac-12 Championship game is theirs. USC travels to Boulder, Colorado to face the team that won the South last year in the Buffalos. USC has never lost to Colorado and boasts an 11-0 record against them; however the Trojans can’t afford to take them lightly. Let’s look into some keys to Saturday afternoon’s game.
Limit The Penalties: Last week USC committed 14 penalties for 123 yards. Some of those penalties prevented USC from scoring on long plays, gaining extended yards, or continued drives for Arizona. The Trojans must display some discipline in order to keep things from getting dicey in Boulder. It’s simple, limit the penalties and the game should go USC’s way.
Feed The Running Backs: This speaks for itself. Colorado ranks 104th in the nation defensively and been gashed in recent weeks. Although Ronald Jones II had back to back monster games on the ground, this is the game where USC should also throw Stephen Carr and Aca’Cedric Ware at Colorado. Whether they ride the hot hand in Rojo or go running back by committee, USC should stick with the ground game to open up the offense.
Capitalize on Red Zone Opportunities: This is an absolute must for USC! Last week USC went 0 for 2 in the red zone early in the game. The Trojans can get into the Red Zone, but with all the talent on offense they have a difficult time finishing the job. Colorado is a team who does a great job at forcing teams to settle for three opposed to getting six in the end zone. The Trojans have to have better success Saturday or it could come back to haunt them and possibly cost them the game.
Contain Phillip Lindsay: Colorado running back Phillip Lindsay is one of the best running backs in the Pac-12. He ranks second in rushing with 1,334 yards on the ground. USC cannot allow for Lindsay to run all over them. Clancy Pendergast has done a pretty good job containing key weapons, in order for USC to win this one they’ll have to limit the damage that Lindsay does.
Pressure The Quarterback: USC made things difficult for Kahlil Tate in last week’s game, pressuring him to make bad passes, sacking him 5 times, and forcing 3 turnovers. The game plan remains the same for the Trojans, pressure Colorado quarterback Steven Montez and force him to make bad passes. Colorado has a talented group of wide receivers and has the ability to make some plays. The health of Uchenna Nwosu and Christian Rector will be huge for the Trojans. If USC can get those two back then the pass rush should see a boost.