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USC Football Makes Second Road Trip Of Season At Colorado

Sep 26, 2021

THEMES

*USC opens October play by facing its first Pac-12 South opponent of the year, traveling to Colorado for an early-in-the-day contest on Pac-12 Network (the Pac-12's live "The Pregame" show will be on site, also).

*Last year's meeting was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues in the USC program.

*Troy has never lost to the Buffaloes in 14 meetings.

*Both teams are looking to re-set their seasons and bounce back from double-digit losses this past weekend.

*USC WR K.D. Nixon will line up against his former team (he played 4 years with the Buffs, ranking in several CU Top 10 career lists, and he even caught a pair of TDs versus the Trojans while there). It's also a homecoming for USC A.D. Mike Bohn, who prepped in Boulder and later was Colorado's athletic director.

*Interim head coach Donte Williams' USC team, which suffered its first Los Angeles loss to Oregon State in 61 years on Saturday, will aim to get more consistent production from its offense and and stouter play from its defense, and also clean up its turnovers and penalties. WR Drake London leads the nation in receptions and receiving yardage, and WR Gary Bryant Jr. has emerged, too. QB Kedon Slovis is moving up the USC career passing and total offense charts. TBs Keaontay Ingram and Vavae Malepeai both are 1,000- yard career rushers; a more potent run game would help balance the Trojan offense, which has converted every red zone trip into points this season. Troy's defense--which is averaging 2.0 takeaways a game, including getting 6 picks to date--has been susceptible to the run lately. Ss Isaiah Pola-Mao and Chase Williams and DL Tuli Tuipulotu are USC's top tacklers, and OLB Drake Jackson provides constant pressure in opponent backfields. Aussie P Ben Griffiths, who is averaging more than 46 yards on his boots, has at least one punt of 56 yards or more in each of his past 6 outings. PK Parker Lewis has not missed any of his field goal or PAT attempts this season.

*Colorado has dropped its last 3 games (including its Pac-12 opener at Arizona State last week) after winning its season opener. Dual-threat QB Brendon Lewis directs the Buffalo offense, which features 2020 Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year TB Jarek Broussard and TB Alex Fontenot. WRs Brenden Rice and Dimitri Stanley and TE Brady Russell are the top pass catchers. CU's defense is led by ILB Nate Landman, a 2020 All-Pac-12 first teamer who has 380 career tackles. Buff head coach Karl Dorrell played and coached across town at UCLA.

RANKINGS

*USC and Colorado are not ranked in the current AP sports media and USA Today coaches polls.

SERIES

*USC has won all 14 of its meetings with Colorado while outscoring the Buffaloes, 485-220.

*USC is 7-0 against the Buffaloes in Boulder games.

*Last year's scheduled meeting in Los Angeles was not played because of COVID-19 issues in the USC program.

*The teams last met in 2019 in Boulder, as 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.

VERSUS PAC-12

*USC has won 69.9% (480-198-29) of its games against current Pac-12 opponents (not including 9 wins later vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 489-198-29, 70.3%).

IN OCTOBER

*USC has a 311-122-19 (.709) all-time record while playing in the month of October (not including 5 wins vacated due to NCAA penalty; revised record: 316-122-19, .712).

USC-COLORADO CONNECTIONS

*USC has 1 player from Colorado (OL Joe Bryson of Rock Canyon HS and Colorado Mesa), while the Buffaloes have 33 Californians on their roster.

*USC WR K.D. Nixon played 4 seasons (2017-20) at Colorado, where he caught 104 passes for 1,250 yards with 7 TDs while starting 23 times and he also returned 33 kickoffs for a 23.0 average. He ranks in CU's all-time Top 20 in receptions, receiving yards, kickoff returns and kickoff return yardage.

*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 director of recruiting operatons Megan Mueller graduated from Colorado in 2019, was a student manager in Colorado's football equipment office for 4 seasons (2015-18) and also was a student manager for the Buffs' women's basketball team in 2016 and 2017 and then was a football recruiting assistant there in 2019.

*USC associate sports information director Darcy Couch is a 2000 graduate of Colorado.

*USC athletic director Mike Bohn was a 3-sport athlete at Boulder (Colo.) High and later was the athletic director at Colorado (2005-13)

*USC wide receivers coach Keary Colbert spent part of the 2008 season playing for the Denver Broncos.

*Colorado defensive coordinator/defensive line coach Chris Wilson coached USC's defensive line in 2014 and 2015.

*Colorado cornerbacks coach Demetrice Martin was a defensive graduate assistant coach at USC in 2006 and 2007.