What happened and what mattered in the USC 31-20 win over Colorado?
USC 31, Colorado 20
USC still might not be perfect, and it needs a lot more work, but it has on the resume being the one team to beat Washington State, and the one team to beat Colorado. The running game still isn’t there, and JT Daniels was just okay, but the defense picked the perfect time to pitch a gem. The Trojans held the Buffs to just 265 yards and forced a key turnover, but …
Mistakes, mistakes, mistakes. USC gets a nasty date at Utah up next, and it’s not going to come up with a win if it turns it over twice again, converts on just 2-of-10 third down chances, and commits 13 penalties.
JT Daniels completed 17-of-34 passes for 272 yards and three scores with two picks, and the running game didn’t help the cause with 62 yards and no big runs. Fortunately for the Trojans, Michael Pittman went off for 144 yards and two scores, and they were able to get a nice first half cushion – getting up 21-7 – and coast.
Colorado put up a good fight despite a slew of injuries to the receiving corps. Laviska Shenault ran for a touchdown and caught nine passes for 72 yards before leaving the game with. leg injury. Jay MacIntyre was lost, too, after taking a hard fall. Steven Montez threw 46 times, but for just 168 yards and a pick with a rushing touchdown.
The Buffs now have to deal with a trip to Washington, but all is not lost. If they can somehow win that – or lose, and get another two USC losses – they can still take the South. For now, this is a setback in the Pac-12 race, but considering Washington State and Utah have to come to Boulder, again, the rest of the slate isn’t that bad … if they get by the Huskies.