College Football
Preview
Southern California at Colorado
When: 4:00 PM ET, Saturday, November 11, 2017
Where: Folsom Field, Boulder, Colorado

No. 14 USC can put the wraps on the Pac-12 South title Saturday with a win at Colorado. And the Trojans may even have an outside shot at a much larger prize if they can keep winning as they came in a semi-surprising 11th in the latest College Football Playoff rankings, ahead of every other two-loss team aside from No. 10 Auburn.



No two-loss team has ever made the playoff, but USC does have an outside shot at cracking the final four should things break just right over the next four weekends. First, though, the Trojans will have to add to their current two-game win streak which has followed their disappointing 49-14 loss at Notre Dame on Oct. 21, and next up is Saturday’s date in Boulder. “It’s still so early in November, and there are so many games still to be played and decisions to be made,” USC coach Clay Helton told the Los Angeles Times on Tuesday. “(But) it’s nice to be thought of that way.” Colorado captured the South title a year ago but finds itself at bottom of the standings after dropping five of its last seven games.

TV: 4 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: USC -13.5



ABOUT USC (8-2, 6-1 Pac-12): The loss to the Irish marks the only time the Trojans have scored fewer than 26 points in their last 17 games, but in its two most recent contests USC has rolled up 97 points and 1,249 total yards, including 672 on the ground in thumping Arizona State and Arizona. Sam Darnold ranks second in Pac-12 total offense (292.7 yards per game) and third in passing efficiency (147.2 rating) while Ronald Jones is fifth with 120.2 rushing yards per outing after totaling 410 and five touchdowns over the last two contests. Led by linebacker Cameron Smith (8.3 tackles) and defensive lineman Rasheem Green (conference-most seven sacks), the Trojans’ defense has notched 11 sacks and forced four turnovers over the last two weeks.

ABOUT COLORADO (5-5, 2-5): The Buffaloes need either to win Saturday or in their Nov. 25 regular-season finale at Utah to become bowl-eligible for the second straight season. One phase of the game or the other seemingly has broken down each week of late for Colorado, and last Saturday night it was the defense, which surrendered 583 total yards, including 381 rushing, and 27 second-half points in a 41-30 road loss at Arizona State. Quarterback Steven Montez has posted strong numbers (43-of-67 passing, 735 yards of total offense, five TDs) in the two games since being benched in a 28-0 loss at Washington State, while running back Phillip Lindsay ranks second in the Pac-12 in all-purpose yards (156.7) and trails only his USC counterpart Jones (14) with 13 total TDs.



EXTRA POINTS

1. USC is 11-0 all-time vs. Colorado, including a 5-0 record in Boulder. The Trojans prevailed 21-17 last season in L.A.

2. The Trojans have won 15 straight home games, including a 6-0 mark this season, but are 2-2 on the road this year.

3. Lindsay needs 32 rushing yards to move into second place on Colorado’s all-time rushing list and needs 18 yards to become the school’s all-time receiving yards leader among running backs.



PREDICTION: USC 38, Colorado 27


Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W‑L Strk PF PA Home Away Grass Turf Conf
Southern California 8-2 W2 35.2 26.7 6-0 2-2 7-0 0-0 6-1
Colorado 5-5 L1 28.0 26.6 4-2 1-3 4-4 0-0 2-5
Last Meeting
Southern California Colorado
Date Away Home Tot Rus Pas Tot Rus Pas
10/8/16 COLO 17 USC 21 553 195 358 371 96 275
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Southern California S. Darnold 67.6 358 3 1
Colorado S. Montez 62.5 197 1 1
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Southern California J. Davis 13 92 7.1 0
Colorado P. Lindsay 11 57 5.2 0
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Southern California J. Smith-Schuster 5 113 22.6 0
Colorado P. Lindsay 6 105 17.5 1
Touchdowns Player TD
Southern California T. Petite 2
Colorado B. Bobo 1
Season
Passing Player COMP % YDS TD INT
Southern California S. Darnold 63.6 2869 22 11
Colorado S. Montez 62.3 2404 16 7
Rushing Player CAR YDS AVG TD
Southern California R. Jones 159 1082 6.8 13
Colorado P. Lindsay 263 1334 5.1 12
Receiving Player REC YDS AVG TD
Southern California D. Burnett 63 832 13.2 8
Colorado S. Fields 45 619 13.8 4
Touchdowns Player TD
Southern California R. Jones 14
Colorado P. Lindsay 13
Quickchart Matchup
Southern California Southern California Off vs  Colorado Colorado Def
Southern California 493 yards
Colorado 439.7 yards
Southern California 5.3 yards/rush
Colorado 5.2 yards/rush
Southern California 8.1 yards/attempt
Colorado 6.9 yards/attempt
Colorado Colorado Off vs  Southern California Southern California Def
Colorado 422.2 yards
Southern California 394.1 yards
Colorado 3.9 yards/rush
Southern California 4.7 yards/rush
Colorado 7.7 yards/attempt
Southern California 6.6 yards/attempt