Tenth-ranked USC look to extend their three-game winning streak when they host struggling Colorado on Saturday at the Los Angeles Coliseum.
The Trojans appear to have effectively bounced back from a loss to Stanford on Sept. 15. With a road victory over the Washington Huskies on Saturday, USC plays four of the next five games in Los Angeles.
Lane Kiffin’s squad will face a Colorado squad that has been lost five of six games this season, and by margin of nearly 25 points. The Buffaloes began the season with two close losses in their home state to Colorado State and Sacramento State, and then suffered through blowout losses to Fresno State, UCLA, and Arizona State.
On the road, the Buffaloes are expected to have their toughest task when they face their first ranked opponent this season. Colorado’s lone victory was on the road when they defeated Washington State on Sept. 22, 35-34.
The Colorado offense ranks last in scoring and will be facing an improving Trojan defense. Linebacker Dion Bailey has emerged as a steady force, as USC has limited opposing running games in recent weeks.
The USC offense has looked sharper in recent weeks, as well. Quarterback Matt Barkley may get a chance to throw more passes and regain his stature in the Heisman Trophy race. The senior has 16 touchdown passes on the season, but his passer rating is lower than in previous seasons, and he is coming off a rather weak effort against Washington.
The running game has been a force for USC, as well. Silas Redd is coming off a 155-yard performance, and Curtis McNeal is averaging 6.4 yards a carry.
Colorado has allowed 494.2 yards per game this season, which is 116th in the nation and worst in the Pac-12.
USC defeated Colorado 42-17 in their last meeting, on Nov. 4 in Boulder.
The contest begins at 6 p.m. EDT and will be broadcast by the Pac-12 Network.
LINE: USC by 41
Prediction: Barkley may have a career game, as this game will become a laugher in the fourth quarter. Expect big games from Marqise Lee and Curtis McNeal.
Predicted Score: USC over Colorado, 55-10