No. 19 USC Football Returns Home To Coliseum To Host Colorado
*No. 19 USC returns home to the Coliseum after a 2-game road trip to host Colorado on ABC in a battle of undefeated South Division teams on Saturday of Thanksgiving week.
*Troy has never lost to the Buffaloes in 14 meetings.
*Historically, it's rare that Troy's opponent the week of Thanksgiving isn't either Notre Dame or UCLA. It's also the 17th time that the Trojans enter Thanksgiving week without a blemish on their record (and half the time, USC stayed unbeaten the rest of the way).
*This will be just the fourth time that USC has faced an undefeated Colorado squad.
*In all 4 of USC's games in 2020 the Trojans will have faced a rested opponent, as the Buffaloes' home game last week against Arizona State was cancelled because of COVID issues with the Sun Devils.
*Now home, USC gets to stay in the Southern California area for the rest of its announced 2020 schedule.
*Coach Clay Helton's USC squad is coming off a defensively-dominant showing at Utah (its first win there since 2012) to move to 3-0 in 2020. USC's offense, Top 25 nationally in total and passing yards per game, is directed by QB Kedon Slovis, who continues to top the country in completions and rank in the Top 12 in passing yards, completion percentage (nearly 71%) and total offense. Troy's wideouts are among the game's best, individually and collectively: WRs Amon-Ra St. Brown and Tyler Vaughns (both in USC's Top 20 career receiving list) along with 2-sporter Drake London and Bru McCoy. TE Erik Krommenhoek has emerged as a scoring threat. A pair of 1,000-yard career runners, TBs Stephen Carr and Vavae Malepeai, along with TBs Markese Stepp and speedy Kenan Christon, man the ground attack. The Trojan defense, which had 5 takeaways at Utah, features vets such as Ss Talanoa Hufanga and Isaiah Pola-Mao, DL Marlon Tuipulotu and ILB Kana'i Mauga, plus impressive younger players like OLB Drake Jackson, ILB Ralen Goforth and DL Tuli Tuipulotu (Marlon's brother). Strong-legged freshman PK Parker Lewis nailed 4 field goals at Utah (one shy of the USC record) and none of his 8 kickoffs were returned.
*Karl Dorrell, who previously coached across town at UCLA, is in his first year as Colorado's head coach. QB Sam Noyer, who spent time last year as a safety, pilots the Buffaloes' high-scoring offense (third nationally at 41.5 points per game), most often throwing to WR Dimitri Stanley. TB Jarek Broussard, who missed the past 2 seasons with a knee injury, is third nationally in rushing, averaging 154.0 yards per game. ILB Nate Landman, a 2019 All-Pac-12 first teamer, leads CU's defense (+2.0 in turnover margin, second in the nation), joined by the likes of CB Christian Gonzalez and OLB Carson Wells.
*The USC men's and women's basketball teams start their 2021 seasons this week, including a men's game against Montana on Saturday after the football game.
*USC is ranked No. 19 in the current AP sports media poll and 18th in the Amway coaches poll. Colorado is not ranked.
*USC has won all 14 of its meetings with Colorado while outscoring the Buffaloes, 485-220.
*USC is 7-0 against the Buffaloes in Los Angeles games.
*In 2018 in the last meeting in the Coliseum, QB JT Daniels threw 3 touchdown passes, including a pair to WR Michael Pittman Jr., and CB Ajene Harris returned an interception for a TD to punctuate a stifling Trojan defensive effort as USC beat undefeated No. 19 Colorado, 31-20. It was Troy's 19th straight victory in the Coliseum, including its 14th consecutive at home against Pac-12 foes.
*Last year at Colorado, WR Michael Pittman Jr. caught a pair of late touchdown passes from QB Kedon Slovis--including a 37-yard game winner with 2:15 to play--to help USC overcome a 10-point fourth quarter deficit and capture its first road win of 2019, 35-31, on a chilly (mid-40s) Friday night. USC played without its top 3 running backs and 4 defensive starters, all out with injuries. The offense went primarily with a 5-wideout formation.
*USC has won 70.1% (477-195-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (not including 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 486-195-29, 70.5%).
*USC has a 266-134-20 (.657) all-time record while playing in the month of November (not including 3 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 269-134-20, .660).
VERSUS UNDEFEATED CU
*This will be just the fourth time that USC has faced an undefeated Buffalo squad. CU was 5-0 in 2018 and the teams opened the 1963 and 1964 seasons against each other (the Trojans won all of those).
UNDEFEATED/UNTIED USC BY THANKSGIVING
*This will be the 17th time that USC enters Thanksgiving week undefeated and untied. The others: 1888-89-91-93-97-1907-18-20-32-52-62-68-72-88-2004-05. On 8 of those occasions, USC remained undefeated through the end of its season (1888-89-1920-32-62-72-2004-05), including winning 4 national championships (1932-62-72-2004). In 10 other seasons, USC was undefeated but had ties on its record entering Thanksgiving week (1900-06-10-27-28-39-44-47-69-79), with the 1928 and 1939 teams going on to win national titles. Note that the 1891 team was playing its first game entering Thanksgiving week, the 1910 squad had ended its season the week prior and the 2005 team later vacated its wins due to NCAA penalty.
NON-ND/UCLA IN THANKSGIVING WEEK
*This will be just the 14th time since 1926 that USC will not face either Notre Dame or UCLA when the Trojans had a game scheduled during Thanksgiving week (the Irish first came on Troy's schedule in 1926, the Bruins in 1929). The other years: 1926 (Montana), 1929 (Washington State), 1930-32-34-39-41 (Washington), 1933 (Georgia), 1965 (Wyoming), 1978 (Hawaii), 1985 (Oregon), 1999 (Louisiana Tech) and 2017 (Stanford).
*USC has 1 player from Utah (OL Joe Bryson of Rock Canyon HS and Colorado Mesa), while Utah has 30 Californians on its roster.
*USC ILB Clyde Moore originally signed with Colorado out of high school and participated in the first week of 2018 fall camp with the Buffs, but he did not enroll full-time in school and left the team for personal/ family reasons.
*USC TE Josh Falo's brother, Nu'umotu Falo Jr., was an outside linebacker at Colorado (2015-16, 18-19).
*USC wide receivers coach Keary Colbert spent part of the 2008 season playing for the Denver Broncos.
*USC associate sports information director Darcy Couch is a 2000 graduate of Colorado.
*Colorado defensive line coach Chris Wilson held a similar position at USC in 2014 and 2015.
*Colorado cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin was a defensive graduate assistant coach at USC in 2006 and 2007.