In a nervy blowout that harkened back to Arizona’s late comeback in Ed Orgeron’s first game in charge of USC, the Trojans defeated the Colorado Buffaloes 47-29.
Javorius “Buck” Allen highlighted the performance with 143 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns.
Cody Kessler continued his strong run as of late by going 19-28 for 184 yards and two touchdowns.
For the Buffaloes, star receiver Paul Richardson was kept mostly quiet until late. He finished the night with eight catches for 88 yards and a touchdown.
The win was Ed Orgeron’s sixth as USC’s interim head coach and keeps him undefeated in the Pac-12 during his tenure.
In the Trojans’ first drive, Kessler floated a ball about 25-yards down field and into the waiting arms of Darreus Rogers to set the Trojans up in Colorado territory, Allen got the scoring started by taking a pitch from the 12-yard line, turning the corner, working his way down the sideline. He capped the run off with a dive towards the endzone, touching the ball to the pylon for the touchdown.
The Trojans’ next score came via special teams, specifically Some Vainuku who brushed past the blocker in his path and swatted a Colorado punt through the back of the endzone for a safety.
From there, however, both offenses failed to produce much excitement. The Trojans and Buffaloes traded punts five times before Leonard Williams came around the side of the pocket and stripped Colorado quarterback Sefo Luifau. The fumble was recovered by George Uko and Allen led the way back down to the goal line where he punched it in for his second touchdown of the night from close range.
Leading 16-0, USC increased its advantage when Dion Bailey jumped in from of a Luifua pass to the sideline and tapped his foot inbounds to secure his fifth interception of the season. This time Kessler brought the Trojans down the field, hitting seven of eight attempts including a perfectly placed 20-yard touchdown to Nelson Agholor just before the half closed.
The second half got off to a scary start for the Trojans.
On the very first play, Allen was stripped on his way to the ground and Jered Bell scooped up the ball, running it back for Colorado’s first touchdown of the night.
Allen made up for it two plays later when he burst through the defense and took off for a 46-yard gain which ended on the Colorado side of the field. Kessler capped that drive with a touchdown pass to Randall Telfer in the center of the endzone, his first catch since early October and his first touchdown of the season.
An Uko sack halted the Buffaloes next drive and Agholor took the punt 20 yards to set the Trojans up in good field position. Allen made the most of it by juking his way to his third touchdown of the day from 23-yards out. His score put USC up 37-7 and for all intents and purposes the game was through by the time the clock on the third quarter ran out.
With back ups in for most of the fourth quarter, USC gave up three touchdowns to the Buffaloes, who attempted dangerous onside kick which was recovered by Leon McQuay III.
On the ensuing drive, fullback Vainuku eclipsed his career rushing total with a 56-yard touchdown run, cutting across the field and outrunning defenders to seal the victory.