1. Contain Paul Richardson
Colorado wide receiver Paul Richardson leads the Buffaloes with 71 receptions, 1,201 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns.
Richardson posted back-to-back games with over 200 receiving yards in the Buffaloes’ first two games of the season, but has since seen his production fluctuate.
In his last three games, Richardson has totals of 140, 77, and 70 receiving yards.
Despite his pedestrian stats as of late, Richardson still boasts an average of 16.92 yards per catch.
USC’s secondary has had its struggles, and Richardson is the type of player that can exploit those.
2. Force turnovers
The Buffaloes have handed the reigns to freshman quarterback Sefo Liufau, who has an impressive completion percentage of 63.4%.
However, as you would expect with a freshman, there have been growing pains. In six games, Liufau has thrown a total of six interceptions.
The last freshman quarterback the Trojans faced was Cal’s Jared Goff, who they were unable to intercept a pass off of.
3. Any in reserve?
Against Stanford, the Trojans used only two substitutes on defense. Somewhat surprisingly, the defense looked fresh towards the latter stages of the game and were able to intercept Kevin Hogan twice in the fourth quarter.
Adrenaline may have gotten Trojan defensive players through the game, but how will they feel a week later? Not only did most players play the entire game, it came against a physical opponent.
While the Trojans are short on scholarships, there are backups who have already taken a season to redshirt, and be used.
It would provide immediate relief to players who may still be suffering from bumps and bruises, and it would help develop depth moving forward.