USC vs. Colorado prediction roundtable with the Campus Insiders staff. Breaking down what will happen in the game between the Trojans and Buffaloes.
Steve Montez hooked up with Shay Fields for three touchdown passes in last week’s rout of Oregon State, but Fields might be catching throws from another quarterback against USC. Sefo Liufau is expected to return for the No. 21 Buffaloes, who come into this one as 4.5-point underdogs despite a 4-1 record. The Trojans are just 2-3 after beating Arizona State last week, and Clay Helton could really use this win over a ranked opponent. Sam Darnold has been good for USC since being handed the starting job, but Colorado will prove to be too much.
I have to roll with USC here. Give credit to Clay Helton for having the guts to stick Sam Darnold in there as a redshirt freshman and pull Max Browne from the starting job. Darnold has been solid for the Trojans, and I believe he’ll be the reason USC beats Colorado this time out. If Sefo Liufau doesn’t play, the Buffs are still in good hands with Steven Montez. He can get out of the pocket and make plays with his legs, but I think the Trojans will spy him and slow him down. USC wins this by one score.
The Buffaloes head to ‘SC coming off of a sweep of the Oregon schools. Mike MacIntyre has done a real nice job thus far this year, and he’s putting together a solid recruiting class for 2017 as well. Backup quarterback Steven Montez has played very well subbing for the injured Sefo Liufau, and kept the team rolling along. Defensively, the Buffaloes lead the conference in total and passing defense. Meanwhile, Sam Darnold has found life easy at quarterback when wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster is involved in the game plan, and the Trojans have amped things up defensively as well. I’m rolling the dice that Clay Helton has a more tight-knit group than at the beginning of the year, and the Trojans pull away in the fourth quarter.
How’s that permanent job going for you, Clay Helton? It seems that the Trojans head coach has learned that being the interim guy is a lot harder than the man in charge of it all. USC did get back on the winning side of things last week with a victory over Arizona State, but Colorado – No. 21 Colorado, I should say – is finally turning the corner and becoming a legitimate program again. The Buffaloes walk out of Memorial Coliseum with another notch on their belt while USC athletic director Lynn Swann looks up instructions on how to hire someone.