10 quick thoughts on USC’s 35-31 win over Colorado
USC 35, Colorado 31
5. USC isn’t being given enough credit for its toughness. It could’ve folded, it needed several big things to go right late, and it had to bounce back time and again to pull this off. It all came down to Kedon Slovis, who was beaten and battered all game long, kept shaking it off – especially on the game-winning drive – and came through with 406 yards and four scores with just one pick. This was about to be Colorado’s big moment, and USC stole it.
4. You’re Colorado. You’ve never beaten USC. You have a rookie head coach trying to do something special. Your defense has held firm throughout the game, but was hanging on for dear life as the momentum was shifting … you punt twice when in Trojan territory instead of trying to salt the game away. The field position battle almost worked – there were a few shots at pulling off game-sealing takeaways – but Slovis came through, and Buff head man Mel Tucker is about to be second-guessed all week for not being more aggressive.
3. The superstar receivers showed up. It would be wonderful to see what Colorado’s Laviska Shenault could do if he could stay fully healthy. He caught nine passes or 172 yards and a score, and KD Nixon made three grabs with two touchdowns. USC’s Michael Pittman caught seven passes for 156 yards and two scores, and Tyler Vaughns made eight grabs for 104 yards and a score.
2. And that’s it for Colorado … maybe. The game was sitting there for the taking, but after QB Steven Montez bounced his head off the turf, took a break, and came back, the team just wasn’t the same. Now at 1-4 in the Pac-12 and 3-5 overall, the Buffs have to win three of their last four games to get bowl eligible. Fortunately, at UCLA and Stanford are up next – both are winnable – and then all they have to do is split against Washington and at Utah, and … nah. This was it. This was the chance to turn the season into something, and the D couldn’t hold on.
1. USC just keeps on fighting. It fought to come back late against Notre Dame in the 30-27 loss, it fought hard to get by Utah – which it turning out to be a really, really big deal in the Pac-12 South – and it’s going to have to fight to get by Oregon at home next week. However, the Trojans are unbeaten in LA so far.
It’s not going to happen – they’re going to lose to Oregon, and/or at Arizona State, and/or at Cal before finishing with UCLA – but at least they’re still alive and kicking. But is 7-5 or 8-4 enough to keep the Urban love from going overboard? No, but this is a very good, very young team that’s showing a whole lot of heart.