Boulder – The Buffs By Week can’t get here soon enough.
CU’s football losing streak played four games on Saturday afternoon. And it hit it at about 150 mph, thanks to thrashing 37-14 given by USC.
And while opponents’ names have changed over the past three weekends, the script for the Buffs, sadly, hasn’t: CU only managed 162 passing yards—65 coming on a play on them—on the afternoon, while freshman quarterback Brendan Lewis was sacked five times.
The Buffs’ defense, meanwhile, was almost on its back foot from the get-go, as the Trojans piled on the ground for a total of 494 yards, 218 of them.
The Buffs (1-4, 0-2 Pac-12) have a break next weekend, then host the fall in Arizona on October 16.
USC is now 15–0 against CU at all-time, 10–0 as CU resumed play in the Pac-12 for the 2011 season.
Saturday’s result was the biggest margin of victory for the Men of Troy against the Buffs since October 2014, when USC won 56–28. More salt in the wound: This was the biggest margin of victory for the Trojans at Boulder since 2011 (42-17, 25 points).
And these Men of Troy (3-2, 2-2) were coming from a 45-27 loss at home to Oregon State last weekend.
This was not to say that there were no bright spots, however fleeting. With six minutes left in the third quarter, Buffs quarterback Brendan Lewis scanned the field and completed his most impressive toss of the season, hitting an open Brady Russell for a 65-yard catch-and-run – CU’s longest offensive Sports weather. Russell, a tight end, breaks free behind the USC defense and the Trojans reach 9.
The cloud within that silver lining?
The Buffs were trailing 30-7 at the time.
Down 20-7 at the break, the Buffs opened the second half brilliantly, and covered 31 yards on five plays to start the third quarter. But on third and sixth from CU 48, Lewis dropped to a back pass and was upset with his blind side on a sack by the Trojans’ Grant Jackson, who tossed the ball away and swung the buffs with the rock all the way to ’29. -yard line.
USC did not advance much after that, but extended their lead on a 49-yard field goal to 16 points, 23-7.
The mood was in bad shape until 4:01 in the first half, CU down 20–0, when CU defensive end Guy Thomas stuck his hand to loosen the ball from USC tailback Keonte Ingram, who broke free for a 17. Tha-yard advantage. Buffs safety Mark Perry fell on a loose ball on the Trojans’ 48-yard line, and for the first time all afternoon, CU was in business.
The hosts responded to the break and a welcome change in pace, punching it for a score after six plays, including a second for Russell from Lewis and a spirited 13-yard catch-and-go at USC 6 at -7. Run was involved. Two plays later, CU tailback Deion Smith leaves the Trojan defense wide in the end zone from the buffs’ 2-yard line.
With representatives from a dozen NFL teams in attendance, including Broncos general manager George Patton, it was the Trojans who put on a show.
In a game that marked the return of former CU wideout KD Nixon, who moved to USC after last season, the star of the day was another Trojan receiver – Drake London. 6-foot-5 Junior, a high flyer who also plays for the Trojan men’s hoops team, had a match from Hades for the Buffs. And once USC unlocked the cheat codes, the buffs were in trouble.
The final drive of the first quarter of Men of Troy proved to be an example. In the first play of the series, USC QB Caydon Slovis made a fade for his big goal for a 29-advantage for CU 35. Before Buffs ’29 and at 20, USC took the Fed-to-London train. Again, another rainbow that No. 15 landed in CU 1, this time.
After a run to no avail, the Trojans went back into the well, Slovis dodging another jump ball en route to London, with a wideout carrying USC in the first touchdown of the afternoon with 1:59 in the front. Extended his arms near the left arch. in the first quarter.
A contest that the oddsmakers had projected to be closer to what they played—the Buffs were a 7.5-to-nine-point underdog as of Saturday morning—was marked by lethargy and fickleness. CU went into the halftime break with a penalty of 70 yards on six flags, compared to 88 yards of offense on 25 snaps.
This was no surprise, given that both programs ranked in the bottom 40 of FBS schools in penalty yards per game – the Buffs ranked 62.3 yards per game (number 89), the Trojans, 69.8 (ranked 102). In what could be a battle to escape the Pac-12 South dungeon, the buffs go on their goodbye week to lick hordes of wounds, some of them inflicted upon themselves.