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Defense dominates as USC hands No. 19 Colorado it’s first loss 31-20.

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USC now controls it’s own destiny in the Pac-12 south with a 31-20 victory over No. 19 Colorado

Colorado v USC Photo by John McCoy/Getty Images

The Pac-12’s lone undefeated team suffers it’s first loss at the hands of the USC Trojans.

Many wondered what adjustments the Trojans would make following their bye last week. Well the answers came in a 31-20 victory over No. 19 Colorado.

The big story coming into the game was undefeated Colorado and the nation’s leading receiver in Laviska Shenault Jr. The first quarter started with USC freshman quarterback JT Daniels throwing an interception to put Colorado in good position to strike, however the Buffaloes couldn’t take advantage of the early interception. Both offenses would start slow in the first quarter. Colorado would strike first on a 46 yard rush from Shenault out of the wildcat formation. That would be the most we would hear from Colorado. USC offense would strike back with a Daniels to Tyler Vaughns strike to tie the game up. After that it was all USC from there.

The story of the game would be the Trojans defense as they followed up their performance against Arizona by holding the Buffaloes offense in check. USC had 4 sacks and a total of 17 tackles for loss. The pass rush flustered Colorado quarterback Steven Montez as they threw off his timing and never allowed him to get into rhythm. Shenault was close to a non factor in the passing game as he had 9 receptions for 72 yards and no touchdowns. Shenault would exit the game late in the 3rd quarter due to a foot injury that kept him out the whole game. USC senior cornerback Ajene Harris had 2 interceptions against Colorado last year. Tonight he had a pick six to put the Trojans up 28-7 late in the 3rd quarter.

USC’s offense managed to find it’s groove in the passing game despite Daniels two early interceptions. The freshman quarterback went 17-32 for 272 yards, 3 touchdowns and 2 picks. Trojans wide receiver Michael Pittman Jr. was the leading receiver with 9 receptions for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. The Colorado defense had no answer for the USC receivers. The running game was very silent in tonight’s game. USC had zero rushing yards at the half, however they still had a significant lead. The 2nd half saw the run game open up a little but the Buffaloes still loaded the box to stuff the USC running game.

The victory now means USC controls it’s own destiny moving forward in the Pac-12 South. It also extends a couple of streaks for the Trojans. The 2nd longest active winning streak in the FBS now moves to 19 and USC moves to 13-0 all time against Colorado. On the other hand Colorado’s defeat means the Pac-12 no longer has an undefeated team. USC goes to 4-2 overall and 3-1 in the Pac-12.

Next week USC travels to Salt Lake City for another huge Pac-12 South showdown with the Utah Utes. That game will air on the Pac-12 Network at 5:00 PM PT/6:00 PM MT.