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Staff Predictions: No.19 Colorado at USC

The USC Trojans look to defend their home and series win streak against the undefeated Colorado Buffaloes on Saturday.

Colorado v USC Photo by Harry How/Getty Images


The USC Trojans have their hardest match up of the season this Saturday, when they take on the Colorado Buffaloes in a Pac-12 after dark game.

The Buffaloes are undefeated this season thanks to quarterback Steven Montez who has been on fire all season. Through five games, Montez has a completion percentage of 75.2 percent and has thrown eleven touchdowns. In addition, the Buffaloes’ success can also be attributed to running back Travon McMillan, who is averaging more than one hundred yards rushing a game. If the Trojans wish to have any chance of winning the Pac-12 South, they will have to beat Montez, and the Buffaloes high powered offense.

Coming off a bye week, the Trojans are ready to take the field. The Trojans look to make it three straight wins, after close match ups against the Washington State Cougars and the Arizona Wildcats. Quarterback JT Daniels has begun to pick it up this season, with fantastic games against the Cougars and the Wildcats, where he combined to throw for over 400 yards and while not throwing an interception. Daniels hopes to extend the Trojans long home game winning streak when the Trojans take on the Buffaloes.

The Trojans will start slow after not having played in two weeks. It will take until the second quarter for the Trojans’ defense to catch fire, but after warming up, the defense will begin to contain duel-threat quarterback Montez. The Trojans’ will come out in the second half and their offense will show up with three touchdowns. The Buffaloes keep it close, but kicker Michael Brown will become the hero, kicking the game winning field goal with no time left on the clock.

The Trojans win this ball game, 34-31


Did USC make the needed adjustments during the bye week to defeat Colorado and spark a run?

It’s all going to boil down to if USC made the needed adjustments during the bye week. The first five games the Trojans didn’t get any better and the Arizona game showed that USC lacked discipline that almost cost them the game. We will see if USC got any better or just stayed the same against Colorado. The Buffaloes come into this game with a 5-0 record and playing some pretty good football, however many will argue the opponents records and quality of opponents that they’ve faced.

The biggest test for USC will come on defense. Colorado quarterback Steven Montez who has thrown for 11 touchdowns and two interceptions, six of those passes have been to the nation’s leading receiver in Laviska Shenault Jr. The Trojans will have to keep an eye on him as Shenault will most likely line up all over the field to create different match up issues. The Colorado sophomore wide receiver already caught for 706 yards and has a touchdown reception in every game to this point.

This will be a stiff test for both sides. USC is currently a -7.5 favorite against Colorado, mainly due to the talent of USC and being at home where they have a 18 game winning streak going on at the moment. USC is also a perfect 12-0 all time against the Buffaloes. The biggest question will be if the Trojans made any adjustments during the bye week to improve. Colorado has shown that they’re an improved team and won’t back down so expect a fired up Colorado team wanting to make a point, however USC also has a chip on their shoulder as well. This game can go either way, but I believe USC prevails in another close game.

USC- 28 Colorado- 24


This is a huge game for the Trojans — there’s no understating that fact.

USC started the season strong with a huge win over UNLV and then suffered demoralizing blowout losses to Stanford and Texas. However, Clay Helton and Co. then bounced back in a big way with two close wins over Washington State and Arizona before heading into their bye.

The bye week is crucial for the Trojans’ preparation for this game against Colorado because the team now knows the taste of winning and being good and had time to reflect on that over the bye week while getting in some extra prep for the Buffaloes. They are gaining steam and at home this week — a perfect recipe for a crucial division win.

The Buffaloes’ biggest weapon is undoubtedly quarterback Steven Montez, who has thrown for 1420 yards, eleven touchdowns, and just two interceptions while boasting a strong 75.2% completion rate. This Colorado aerial attack is no joke, and the Trojan secondary is going to have their hands full with Montez leading the charge for the Buffaloes.

USC freshman quarterback JT Daniels will need to keep up with the Buffaloes’ high-octane offense and I believe that he will. Daniels has gotten hot at the right time for the Trojans, completing 66% of his passes without throwing any interceptions in his last two games. Expect a high-scoring affair in the heart of Los Angeles tomorrow night with USC coming out on top in the end.

USC 38 Colorado 35


This is a must win game if USC wants any shot at the Pac-12 Championship. With the Colorado Buffaloes being 5-0 and jarring stats of quarterback Steven Montez and star wide receiver Laviska Shenault Jr., this may just be the most talented Buffaloes squad that the Trojans have faced in their 12 game series.

While Vegas has USC winning by seven, the Trojans will have to play a full four quarters of football if they hope to defend their home and series win streak on Saturday. Shenault Jr. just might be the most dangerous playmaker that the USC defense has faced all year. With 51 receptions, 708 yards, and six touchdowns, many Colorado fans are calling for Sheanult Jr.’s name to be added to the Heisman watch list. The Trojan backfield needs to shut down Montez’s favorite target is they want to keep Colorado in check.

While the offense has showed promise the past two games, the defense has taken a downhill turn. While USC has had a bye week to prepare, I still predict that the Buffaloes will put up points in the Coliseum and it will be an offensive shootout. I predict the Trojan offense will have a stellar first drive, falter, and then get back on track for the rest of the game as has been the trend.

Clay Helton’s home win streak record is no fluke, and the Trojans have the talent to keep their win streak of Colorado alive on Saturday. It just depends on everyone doing their job and keeping their penalty yardage to a minimum.

USC wins a close one 38-35