No. 23 USC is headed to Colorado for their final road game of the season.
At 4-6 overall and 1-6 in Pac-12 play, Colorado is on the heels of snapping a 14-game conference losing streak with a 41-24 victory over the Bears.
Coming off a victory over Stanford, the keys to the game are simple, and Saturday is primarily about the Trojans avoiding a loss of focus.
1. Avoid self-inflicted mistakes
The Trojans enter the game as a heavy favorite, and one way favorites lose games to an underdog is because of mistakes.
Against the Cardinal, the Trojans didn’t draw a single offensive penalty. They did lose a fumble on a Cody Kessler sack, but otherwise were clean on offense.
The Buffaloes have forced 17 turnovers on the season, and have at least two turnovers in seven of their 10 games.
If the Trojans turn the ball over or suffer mental lapses that lead to untimely penalties, it could keep the game unnecessarily close.
2. Get back on the ground
Stanford was expected to make it difficult on the Trojans to have much success running the ball. But the extent to which the Trojan rushing attack was shut down, was extreme.
Trojan running backs managed to only rush for 39 yards. Unlike the Cardinal, the Buffaloes don’t posses the same daunting defensive front.
On the season, the Buffaloes have allowed an average of 210.4 rushing yards per game, and 5.0 yards per carry.
With the cold weather possibly having an impact on Kessler’s ability to grip and throw the ball, the Trojans should rely on their running backs to carry the load on offense.
Particularly Ty Isaac, who should gain some valuable playing time.