USC Trojans Look to Stampede Colorado Buffaloes


Former USC Quarterback (1986-1990) Shane Foley previews the Trojans’ (4-2, 3-1) next game at home against Colorado (2-4, 0-3).


It is Homecoming on Saturday and the USC Trojans host the Colorado Buffaloes at 3 pm at the Coliseum before they go back on the road the following two weeks. The Buffaloes are 2-4 overall and 0-3 in conference under 2nd year coach Mike MacIntyre and they have lost nine straight conference road games and are 2-13 in league road games since joining the PAC-12 and 1-19 in the last 20 conference games overall.

Sep 27, 2014; Berkeley, CA, USA; Colorado Buffaloes quarterback Sefo Liufau (13) passes the ball against the California Golden Bears during the second overtime at Memorial Stadium. The California Golden Bears defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 59-56 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

However, Colorado is improved behind a potent offense that is averaging 476.7 yards per game and sophomore quarterback Sefo Liufau is completing 65.3% of his passes for 1887 yards and he has thrown 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions.  The Buffaloes lost to Cal in double overtime 59-56 and they lost at tight one to Oregon State 36-31 at home. Their 320.3 yards passing per game ranks 14th in the country but their defense is ranked 109th in points against allowed with 35.7 per game.

The receiving core is led by Nelson Spruce who has 62 catches with 10 touchdowns on the season and their running game is spearheaded by 6-0, 230 lb. junior running back Christian Powell who has 274 yards on 57 carries for a 4.8 yard average. USC is 8-0 in the series all time and they will look to play a complete football game after narrowly escaping against Arizona last Saturday.

Looking Forward

The Trojans have to find ways to finish football games.  This has become the story line of the first half of the 2014 season. USC is a still a very young football team with available scholarship numbers now in the low 50s.  This is the reality and it is not an easy one to navigate. However, the Trojans have been in position to win all of their games this season.They led at Boston College 14-0 and 17-6 early in the game before letting them back in and they led ASU by nine at two different points in the 4th quarter before giving up big plays that ended in a crushing defeat.

Oct 11, 2014; Tucson, AZ, USA; Southern California Trojans quarterback Cody Kessler (6) throws a pass in the second half against the Arizona Wildcats at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

It is about getting stops on defense in crunch time but even more importantly, it is about developing a killer instinct and putting a game out of reach.  When Coach Sarkisian is more focused on running down the clock with Buck Allen and Justin Davis, and playing not to lose, it can negatively affect the psyche of the football team and it does not inspire confidence, especially with a young, impressionable football team that is still developing. Sure the defense was thin last Saturday with very young corners that were put in pressure situations, but that is why you attack a defense with a behemoth offensive line and the best running back in the conference.

You have a quarterback in Cody Kessler that does not make bad decisions and he must be trusted to make an accurate throw on play action with the game on the line.  Allowing teams to hang around and not putting games out of reach can and has come back to haunt them.  There does not need to be any more talk about being a Hail Mary pass from being ranked in the Top 5. The Trojans are also six points away from being 2-4. It is time to focus on getting better without the chatter and the “could have, should have” talk. It is time for this team to play like Trojans for four quarters, to rise up and meet any challenge, to attack to the final second and to always Fight On!